8 orthodontic trends from ADA's latest Health Policy Institute report

The number of female and minority residents from orthodontics programs has increased by 30.3 percent and 4.3 percent from 1990 to 2020, respectively, according to data from the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute.

The report, released in December, details trends in orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedics programs in the U.S. between 1990 and 2020. It also reports how the number of accredited orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics education programs in the U.S. has shifted since 1970. The report is one of several the organization has shared on various dental programs, including general practice, periodontics and endodontics. 

Eight trends to know:

1. The number of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics education programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation increased from 47 in 1971 to 67 in 2020.

2. The number of applicants for orthodontics programs increased from 133 in 1990 to 160.3 in 2020.

3. The number of students who graduated from orthodontics programs increased from 257 in 1990 to 391 in 2020.

4. The percentage of female dental school graduates increased from 30.8 percent in 1990 to 51.4 percent in 2020. 

5. The percentage of female residents in orthodontics programs was 23.3 percent in 1990, but stood at 53.6 percent in 2020.

6. The percentage of dental school graduates from an underrepresented minority group was 13.8 percent in 2020, up from 12.9 percent in 1990. 

7. The number of orthodontics residents from an underrepresented minority group was 9.9 percent in 2020, up from 5.6 percent in 1990.

8. The percentage of orthodontics students and residents who were graduates of international dental schools went up in the '90s and '00s, but has declined since.  The percentage was 13.1 in 1990; 13.4 in 2000; 11.2 in 2010; and 10 in 2020.

To view the full report, click here.

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