Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
News Releases

Satisfaction Levels Vary for Dentists Based on Practice Setting, New Survey Shows

August 12, 2015

Contact Information:
E-mail: (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dentists who work in small group practices report greater job satisfaction than those who work in single or large-group practices, according to an article in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Results from a recent survey also indicate that those working in large group settings report greater satisfaction with their income and benefits, and less stress.

“Our study is the first step to understanding what type of practice setting dentists find the most satisfying based on a number of factors,” said Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., chief economist and vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute, and one of the authors.

Dr. Anthony Lo Sasso, public health professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, is the article’s lead author. Other authors include: Rebecca Starkel, MA, research analyst for HPI; Matthew Warren, MA, manager of membership analytics at the ADA; and Dr. Albert Guay, chief policy advisor, emeritus, ADA.

The study, first of its kind in the US, measured satisfaction with income, benefits, hours worked, clinical autonomy, work-life balance, emotional exhaustion and overall satisfaction.

In addition to the JADA article, the same authors have published a new HPI research brief examining dentist satisfaction in two large group practice models, those affiliated with a dental management organization and those completely owned and operated by dentists.

Another brief shows that the number of large dental practices is growing, while practices with fewer than five employees are declining. Among the findings: Market penetration of very large firms varies by state, from a low of none in seven states to a high of 7 percent of the Florida market.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website