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ADA Health Policy Institute

Workforce

How many dentists are there in the U.S?

As of 2018, there are 199,486 dentists working in dentistry (dentists using their dental degree in some fashion) in the U.S. 

Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001-2018 (Tables in Excel).

 

What is the dentist-to-population ratio in the United States?

As of 2018, there are 61.0 dentists working in dentistry per 100,000 U.S. population. Ratios vary by state.

Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001-2018 (Tables in Excel).


How many dentists are female?

Among the 199,486 dentists working in dentistry as of 2018, 32.3% are female.

Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001-2018 (Tables in Excel).

 

What percentage of dentists are specialists?

As of 2018, about one in five professionally active dentists (21.0%) reported that their practice, research, or administration area is an ADA-recognized specialty.

Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001-2018 (Tables in Excel).

 

What is the age breakdown of dentists in the United States?

Among the 199,486 dentists working in dentistry as of 2018, 16.9% are under age 35, 23.4% are ages 35 - 44, 21.1% are ages 45 - 54, 22.8% are ages 55 - 64, and 15.8% are age 65 and older.

Source: Supply of Dentists in the U.S.: 2001-2018 (Tables in Excel).

 

What is the average age of retirement among dentists?

In 2017, the average age of retirement age among dentists was 68.9, up from 67.1 in 2007.

Source: Dentist Retirement Patterns (Health Policy Institute Infographic).

 

Does the ADA have any projections for the number of dentists in the U.S.?

The research brief Supply of Full-Time Equivalent Dentists in the U.S. Expected to Increase Steadily projects the future supply of dentists in the U.S. based on various sources of outflows from and inflows to the dental profession.

Source: Supply of Full-Time Equivalent Dentists in the U.S. Expected to Increase Steadily (Health Policy Institute Research Brief).

Related item: State-level workforce projections are available from the Projected Supply of Dentists for Select States.