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Environmental Scan

A Profession in Transition: Key Forces Reshaping the Dental Landscape

The American Dental Association (ADA) carried out a comprehensive, forward-looking analysis of the dental care sector to help inform the strategic plan process. This environmental scan was managed by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute, with oversight from the ADA’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee of the Board of Trustees. A group of renowned thought leaders also provided additional insight into the analysis.

ADA Environmental Scan Big Picture Findings

The key takeaway from this first-of-its-kind analysis is that we have arrived at a critical moment for dentistry – a time for the profession to define its destiny. The scan involves thoughtful, objective, empirical research that provides the ADA with key facts and information needed to help shape a strategy for navigating the challenges ahead as we chart a course for the dental profession. Given the significant environmental changes on the horizon, organized dentistry cannot afford to be complacent.

Below are the full report and executive summary of the environmental scan as well as the external background report commissioned from the consulting firm Diringer and Associates..

For more information or to request a presentation of these findings, please contact the ADA’s Health Policy Institute at Please visit the ADA’s YouTube page to embed the Environmental Scan on your web pages.

“This is a critical moment in dentistry and not a time for complacency. Understanding the key forces at work will assist the profession in defining its own destiny. Ignoring what is happening in the health and consumer environment will mean ceding the future of the profession to others.”

— Diringer and Associates, 2013