consideration is needed for geographic distribution and racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. This section provides a general overview of the basic demographics of the dental workforce.

General Description

Most professionally active dentists are general dentists (ADA, 2009d) (see Box 3-1 for types of dentists). Recognized specialties include orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatrics, periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, and dental public health. Almost all professionally active dentists (92 percent) work in the private practice set-

BOX 3-1

Types of Dentists

A professionally active dentist is primarily or secondarily occupied in a private practice, dental school faculty/staff, armed forces, or other federal service (e.g., Veterans Administration, U.S. Public Health Service); or is a state or local government employee, hospital staff dentist, graduate student/intern/resident, or other health/dental organization staff member.

An active private practitioner is someone whose primary and/or secondary occupation is private practice.

A new dentist is anyone who has graduated from dental school within the last 10 years.

An independent dentist is a dentist running a sole proprietorship or one who is involved in a partnership.

A solo dentist is an independent dentist working alone in the practice he or she owns.

A nonowner dentist does not share in ownership of the practice.

An employed dentist works on a salary, commission, percentage, or associate basis.

An independent contractor contracts with owner(s) for use of space and equipment.

A nonsolo dentist works with at least one other dentist and can be an independent or nonowner dentist.


NOTE: Each of these types can be either general or specialty practitioners.

SOURCES: ADA, 2009b,d.

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