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HPI: Patient volume, busyness is increasing

November 27, 2018
Graph showing earnings compared to busyness

According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, more than a third of dentists experienced an increase in patient volume in 2017 compared to 2016.

HPI also found that the average wait times for appointments are also on the rise, increasing from 4.5 days in 2012 to 5.4 days in 2017 for patients of record and from 5.3 days to 7 for new patients, which could be a sign of more patients in dental offices.

"The last few years have seen an uptick in dental care use among certain segments of the population, namely low-income adults in Medicaid expansion states where Medicaid provides adult dental benefits as well as among high-income seniors," explained Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., ADA chief economist and vice president, Health Policy Institute.

The information can be found in an HPI infographic that uses results from the ADA Health Policy Institute's annual Survey of Dental Practice.

Other key findings include:

  • Dentists average net income "has not recovered to pre-recession levels but the past three years have seen increases for general practitioners."
  • The percentage of private practice dentists reporting they are "not busy enough" has declined — down from a high of 38 percent in 2011 to 24.4 percent in 2017.

For more information about the ADA Health Policy Institute, visit