HPI: Dentists in urban, rural counties

The supply of dentists has grown over the last 10 years in both urban and rural counties.

The supply, measured as the number of dentists per 100,000 population, grew from 63.3 (2008) to 65.4 (2018) in urban counties. In rural counties over the same period, the supply grew from 29.4 to 30.3.

Established dentists (those who graduated from dental school more than 10 years ago) have grown in number but not as quickly as the population in urban and rural counties. In contrast, new dentists (those who graduated in the last 10 years) have grown faster than the population in urban and rural counties.

The growth in the number of new dentists is partly due to the 10 new U.S. dental schools that opened between 2008 and 2016.

Learn more at ADA.org/HPI.

Sources: Health Policy Institute analysis of ADA masterfile; U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Program, available at census.gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/urban-rural.html.

Notes: “New dentists” comprises those graduated from dental school in the 10 years preceding the statistic. “Established dentists” comprises those dentists who are not new. Urban and rural county types are based on 2010 U.S. Census data. Urban counties are those with less than 50% rural population. Rural counties are those with at least 50% rural population.

2 comments

  • Colleen C. Daley, DDS

    The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a rural peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Within the past two years 4 private practice dentist have retired, this area is greatly underserved and in need of dentist. This area offers a wonderful and successful opportunity for new or established dentist to open a practice.

  • Some urban and rural counties need a dentist each part of the cities. This problem is not so commonly focus. Thus, it is a great opportunity for new dentists to practice their career and open for new dental health clinic.

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