Business & Industry Insider: Number of dentists per capita to grow 10% by 2040

Dear Business & Industry Insider,

The number of dentists per capita in the U.S. is projected to rise by about 10% through 2040 due to lower population growth estimates, according to a research brief by the ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI).

The analysis showed that the per capita supply of dentists is projected to grow significantly over the next 20 years even after the researchers adjusted for anticipated changes in the number of hours worked. Read more in this edition's Insider Exclusive.

Also new in our Business & Industry Community, Dr. Ruchi Sahota and attorney Arthur Curley spoke about how to manage risk in a presentation at the California Dental Association's CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry virtual meeting. In a video interview with, they shared some warning signs of high-risk patients and steps dentists can take to mitigate risk.

In other news, did you know that 6% of dental hygienists have not returned to work during the COVID-19 pandemic? Many hygienists continue not to work due to concerns about SARS-CoV-2 infection or a lack of childcare. At least one expert is optimistic the trend may change with the widespread rollout of vaccines and schools reopening.

Hygienists aren't the only dental team members that practices may be lacking. Registered dental assistant Shari Becker told that many dental assistants also left the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic. Becker attributed the trend to the reality of burnout for dental assistants, but she also discussed how recognizing your self-worth and increasing your confidence can lead to personal and professional growth.

While everyone may not be eager to come back to dental practices, new data show that more patients are now willing to see the dentist than at this time last year. Patient volume has reached 86% of pre-COVID-19 levels, the highest it has been since dental practices were closed for all nonemergency procedures, according to ADA HPI data from April. Patients also said they're more confident about going to the dentist in 2021.