How the racial makeup of dentistry has changed since 2005: 3 things to know

The racial mix of the dentist workforce doesn't properly reflect the U.S. population, with diversification over the last fifteen years mostly accounted for by more Asian dentists, reports the American Dental Association.

Researchers with the ADA Health Policy Institute analyzed data from the ADA, U.S. Census Bureau and American Dental Education Association.

Three things to know:

1. The racial mix of the dentist workforce doesn't properly reflect the U.S. population. Black and Hispanic dentists are significantly underrepresented, while Asian dentists are significantly overrepresented.

2. Some career choices appear to be linked to race. For example, Black dentists are more likely to participate in Medicaid than white dentists, reports the ADA.

3. Over the last 15 years, the dentist workforce has diversified, but almost all of said diversification is accounted for by more Asian dentists. The share of dentists who are Black has remained unchanged.

Racial makeup of dentistry 2005 to 2020:

2005
White: 79.8 percent
Asian: 11.8 percent
Hispanic: 4.2 percent
Black: 3.7 percent
Other: 0.4 percent

2010
White: 77.2 percent
Asian: 13.6 percent
Hispanic: 4.8 percent
Black: 3.9 percent
Other: 0.5 percent

2015
White: 74.2 percent
Asian: 15.7 percent
Hispanic: 5.2 percent
Black: 3.8 percent
Other: 1 percent

2020
White: 70.2 percent
Asian: 18 percent
Hispanic: 5.9 percent
Black: 3.8 percent
Other: 2.2 percent

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