Patients at new dentists wait twice as long for an appointment

Patients of record at dental practices where the owner graduated dental school between 2013 and 2022 wait 20.5 days for an appointment, according to a poll from the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute.

The wait is more than double that of a practice where the owner graduated dental school before 2013, according to the ADA's monthly "Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry" survey for the week of Oct. 16.

Patients of record at practices owned by established dentists have to wait 10.2 days for an appointment that is not an emergency. 

There is a similar trend for new patients. While the majority of practices owned by both new and established dentists are accepting new patients (92.6% of new dentists and 93.1% of established dentists), the number of days for an initial appointment is much shorter at established practices. 

A new patient will wait an average of 14 days for an appointment at a practice with an established dentist but will wait 25.1 days for their initial appointment with a new dentist, the survey said.

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