The US dentist workforce – 7 key facts

The American Dental Association provides data on the dental workforce from the past decade, including gender, age and race.

Seven key facts about the dental workforce:

  1. The average age of dentists was 49.4 in 2010 and 49.3 in 2020. Overall, 21.6 percent of dentists are between 45 and 54 years old, down from 25.1 percent in 2010. Twenty-four percent of dentists are between the ages of 35 and 44, 21.1 percent are between 55 and 64, 17 percent are under 35, and 16.3 percent are 65 and older.
  2. The average retirement age for dentists in 2020 was 68.2.
  3. The majority of dentists in 2020 were white and Asian, making up 88.2 percent of the dental workforce.
  4. The amount of women in the dental workforce is increasing. The percentage of women increased from 24.1 percent in 2010 to 34.5 percent in 2020. The number of female dental school graduates also increased from 46 percent in 2009 to 50.6 percent in 2019.
  5. The average number of hours dentists work in a week increased slightly from 34.8 in 2010 to 35.7 in 2019.
  6. In 2019, 50 percent of private practice dentists were the sole dentist in their office.
  7. The number of dentists per 100,000 population was 61 in 2020, but the ratio varies in each state. Washington, D.C., had the highest ratio at 104, and Arkansas had the lowest ratio at 40.9. Overall, the ratio increased for most states between 2010 and 2020.

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