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Video: Discussing racial inequality in dentistry

October 07, 2020

By Kimber Solana


Dentists seeking to gain a greater understanding on racial inequalities in the profession can watch a recording of a virtual open forum organized by the ADA’s New Dentist Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

The forum, Amplifying Voices: A Series of Conversations on Diversity & Inclusion, was held on Sept. 29.

Presenters included Drs. Tawana Ware, assistant professor of pediatric dentistry at Indiana University School of Dentistry; Carlos Smith, director of diversity, equity and inclusion and director of ethics curriculum at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry; Christine Meiners, national trustee for the Hispanic Dental Association and adjunct faculty at Communicare Health Centers, a nonprofit community health center in San Antonio; and Aruna Rao, adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.

The presenters shared their stories and experiences as dentists of diverse backgrounds.

According to the Health Policy Institute data, from 2008 to 2018, the percentage of active white dentists decreased from 78.2% to 71.9%. The largest increase among minority groups came from those of Asian background, increasing from 12.9% to 17.1%. Hispanics increased from 4.6% to 5.6%; and professionally active black dentists decreased from 3.8% to 3.7%. Dentists from other racial/ethnic background increased from 0.5% to 1.6%.

To watch the video, visit the ADA's YouTube page.