Dentists: 3 of 4 Say There’s No Shortage of Dentists

Dentist shortage? many areas are over-servedDentists certainly aren’t worried about any impending “shortage of dentists.” Three out of four in this survey feel their areas are over-served, as did every single urban dentist who responded.

“There is absolutely no shortage of dentists,” declared one dentist.

Here are some other comments from doctors:

  • “If I were younger I would open up in a rural area. Competition in NYC is tough.” (Urban dentist)
  • “We are oversaturated in the suburb of the large city I live and work. Travel about 20 miles away from this suburb into the rural countryside, and those areas are underserved.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “Not only overserved, but more new dental practices than patients are moving into the area.” (Suburban Illinois dentist)
  • “Over-marketed also.” (Suburban Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “Shut down more dental schools!” (Suburban dentist)
  • “When I moved into this town, the population was about 26,000 and there were nine dentists. Today, the population is about 55,000 and there are sixty-three dentists in the phone book. So the population has about doubled, but the number of dentists has grown seven-fold!” (Suburban California dentist)

Read more: Dental Shortage? 3 of 4 Dentists Say Their Area Is Overserved

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

  • Did the dentist’s feel this way about dentistry when they were trying to get into dental school? What about the spirit of a free market society and competition.
    We, as dentists seem to be a very greedy lot.That’s my personal observation, after 25+ years in practice.When is enough…enough?It’s way beyond perfectionism.It’s plain greed and negativity.Nothings ever good enough…Why don’t we get rid of all dental schools and dentistry as a profession.
    We’re not real health care professionals anyway.They won’t even give us an H1N1 flu shot.

  • Idea of a shortage in most areas is ridiculous. When we were in school the government decided there was a shortage and gave schools billions to build larger facilities and increase class size and go on a 3 year program. These excess dentists would magically fill the need in west virginia and adirondaks in Northern New York for example. The result was an increase in the number of practitioners in the areas that had no shortage ie metropolitan and suburban areas and the shortage remained in underserved areas because economic model of private delivery required that people have the income to pay so the practitioner could pay for his costs of establishing and running his mini hospital (office) and make a profit. Much less could have been spent by paying for the education of students who would not be able to affort the education costs and then requiring 3-4 years if service with a mininal salary at the underserved location with govt picking up costs of facility and auxiliary employees. So the private delivery system was distorted by the government and the reasons for spending billions was unfulfilled , a failure and now we still have underserved areas while schools are putting out more practitioners to go to areas that are oversuppied. The Govt answers another problem for billions more while our currency is going broke….

  • As a dental sales rep, I find that there are plenty of dentists in the urban and suburban areas, but the rural areas are underserved. Specialist in rural area are almost nonexistent. If you are a specialist the best place to set up shop is in a rural area and grab the referrals from all the dentists that are sending their patients an hour away or more for a root canal or something they can’t or don’t want to do.

    There may be a lot of dentists, but there seem to be quite a few ready for retirement in practices that no young dentist would want to buy. What happens then? Does someone buy their patient list because that is the only thing worth buying?

    What about the female dentists coming out of school that want to raise a family and don’t want to commit to full-time dentistry?

    Most dental supply companies believe there will be a shortage.

    Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.

  • Dave Carsten, DDS

    Anyone looking at demographics and geographics will realize that the vast majority of dentists are attracted to urban/suburban areas, near cultural and educational opportunity. Rural areas have fewer and fewer dentists. The ones that are practicing in rural areas fly twin engine airplanes and drive Porsches that have no payments. They also know that it is unlikely to have a buyer in the future.

    I have practiced in rural, suburban, urban, west coast, and east coast. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

    I also agree that the age demographics suggest that there are a LOT of dentists nearing retirement in the next ten years or so. Many have put it off but father time is unforgiving. It will happen.

    And yes, more and more female dentists that choose shorter careers and shorter working hours does suggest the need for more dentists.

    The problem is distribution but the question is what to do.
    People make choices that have consequences. That is an outcome of freedom of choice. In a free market, if the economic advantages become big enough, will dentists move to rural areas? Hmmmmm……..Will greed solve the problem?

  • Dr. Carsten is absolutely right. I am one of the lucky ones who has had a breakthrough in Manhattan. It was never easy and still is not. It is a tough place for a new practice. Cultural centers have a plentiful supply of professionals while rural areas continue to be under served.

    My advice to young dentists is to open in the rural areas. Yes the practice may not have a buyer. But after years of profitable practice would you need one?

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