How Many Dentists Are There in the US? Dental Industry Statistics, Trends, and Factors

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The U.S. is home to many dentists. According to 2023 data from the American Dental Association, there are 202,304 professional active dentists in the United States. In other words, there are 60.4 dentists per 100,000 U.S. citizens.

As of 2023, California (30,280), Texas (16,522), and New York (14,146) had the highest number of active dentists working. However, these states did not have the highest number of dentists per capita (per head). 

The District of Columbia (111.64). Massachusetts (81.44) and Alaska (80.29) had the highest number of dentists per capita in 2022.

Below, we discuss the dentist workforce in the United States and provide insightful industry data, trends, and factors.  

The Current Landscape of Dentistry in the US

The U.S. dental industry is one of the biggest and most advanced in the World. Its estimated market size was USD 154.96 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.30% from 2024 to 2033.

The growth of the U.S. dental industry is driven by many key factors. These include the growing aging population, increasing dental health awareness, advancement in dental tech, and the presence of key players.

Major Key players, such as dental service providers, equipment manufacturers, and retailers, form the backbone of the U.S. dental industry. They help advance dental technologies and provide quality dental care services to patients.

The U.S. dental industry also includes regulatory bodies like the American Dental Association, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the regional boards. These bodies ensure quality dental care services and compliance within the industry.

While the U.S. dental industry is one of the most admired worldwide, it’s plagued with a low supply of dentists. According to the latest data from the American Dental Association (ADA), as of 2023, there were 202,304 professional active dentists in the United States.

Alabama had the lowest number of dentists per 100,000 residents (41.27) in 2022. Arkansas (42.06) and Mississippi (43.87) were also low. Conversely, the District of Columbia (111.64), Massachusetts (81.44), and Alaska (80.29) had the highest number of dentists per 100,000 residents in 2022.

Trends Shaping the Dental Profession

Shifts in patient demographics and oral healthcare needs

The demographics of dental care patients are changing rapidly, with more older adults seeking dental care for age-related dental issues like gum diseases, cavities, tooth loss, etc.

Shifts in patient demographics and oral healthcare needs

Furthermore, there is a growing public awareness about dental health. This has increased demand for basic, preventive, restorative, and orthodontic dental services across all age groups.

The result? Increased demand for the services of dental professionals.

Technological advancements in dentistry

Technological advancement is also shaping the dental profession. With the introduction of technology like teledentistry, dental patients can enjoy improved access to dental care.

Dental implants are another technological advancement. It helps improve patients’ chewing and restores their cosmetic appearance.

Laser dentistry, VELscope, and the use of intra-oral cameras are other examples.  

Overall, technological advancement is changing the dental industry. It is improving the efficiency and productivity of dental professionals and ensuring they provide patients with quality dental care.

Changes in dental insurance and payment models

The financial aspect of dental care is also experiencing changes, one of which is the expansion of dental insurance. This helps ensure that dental insurance covers more dental services while also being accessible to more people.

Additionally, there have been changes in payment models. These include the introduction of dental membership plans, discount plans, and patient concierge practices.

Overall, these changes are designed to provide individuals with easy and affordable access to dental care.

Factors Influencing the Number of Dentists

Impact of dental school admissions and graduation rates: Strict dental school admission criteria can reduce the number of dental students in dental schools. 

Impact of dental school admissions and graduation rates

The result? Less professionally active dentists in the U.S. Furthermore, the inability of dental students to graduate successfully can lower graduation rates, thus reducing the number of dentists entering the field.

Demands for dental services in underserved areas: Underserved areas like rural and low-income communities often lack sufficient dental services. Appointing dentists in these areas may affect the number of overall dentists available to serve other areas.

Effects of retirement and workforce attrition on the dentist population: When many dentists retire, the number of active dentists reduces, resulting in a shortage in the industry. Workforce attrition can also reduce the number of dentists in the US. This happens when dentists quit their jobs, leave due to a severe illness, or get sacked by management.

Future Outlook for Dentistry in the US

The future looks bright for the dental profession in the U.S., with dentist employment expected to grow 4 percent from 2022 to 2032. Similarly, the demand for dental care is growing as well.

This calls for the introduction of new treatment methods and tech advancement to improve the quality of healthcare. 

Overall, the rapid growth of dental professionals in the U.S. will provide patients with easy access to oral care at affordable rates. This will improve their oral health and overall well-being. 


How much do dentists in the U.S. earn?

On average, dentists in the U.S. earn $160,462 annually, or an hourly wage of $77.15. While entry-level positions start at $57,560 annually, most experienced workers earn as much as $220,000 annually. The amount differs between the 50 states in the U.S. 

What State in the U.S. has the most dentists?

According to data from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute, California has the most dentists, with 30,280. Texas is second, with 16,522.

What is the average age of a dentist in the U.S.?

The average age of dentists in 2021 was 49 years old. It was 49.3 in 2020 and 50 in 2014

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