Dentist Retirement Trends

How has the average age of dentist retirement changed over the years?

The ADA Health Policy Institute tracks U.S. dentist retirement and age distribution patterns to predict the future of the dental workforce.

Average age of dentist retirement is up

Average age of retirement is 68.9 as of 2023 

This is up from a low point of 64.7 in 2001. Over the last two decades, the average age of retirement for U.S. dentists has gone up,.


More dentists are younger or near retirement age

The age distribution of U.S. dentists indicates a generational transition

In 2017, the U.S. dentist workforce was defined by a generational divide, with large shares of younger dentists ages 30-40 and dentists near retirement age. Five years later, a larger share of dentists are younger while a smaller share of dentists are near retirement age, indicating that the shift toward  a younger generation of dentists is underway.

U.S. dentists are getting younger

But the average age is 48.8 as of 2023

Since 2001, the average age of dentists has gradually gone up, reaching a high point of 50 in 2014 before steadily decreasing to 48.8 today.

U.S. dentists are working longer

The average career span of a U.S. dentist is 41.8 years

The average career span of U.S. dentists in 2023 is considerably longer than it was in 2001. Dentists today work an average of four years more than they did in 2001.