Dental offices are in a unique position in 2023.
Rampant inflation, massive staffing shortages, and lengthy patient waiting times are underpinning every dentist’s new-year ambitions. Recent surveys even suggest 3 out of 5 dentists are unsatisfied with their career choice.
Yet, despite the challenges, many offices are prospering.
To give you a better idea of the dental landscape in 2023, we’ve collected statistics from thought leaders and researchers across the dental space and beyond. These stats include things like productivity, staffing shortages, financials, and even populations statistics. Alone, many of these statistics are only lightly helpful. Aggregated, they paint a clear picture of the dental industry as a whole.
For more in-depth conversations about dental challenges, see our whitepaper or any of the following blogs:
- Dental office tips to grow during high inflation
- The four biggest threats to your office during 2023
- How dental offices can navigate the staffing crisis without dropping patients
- 9 surefire ways to boost your dental office’s revenue
- How to find the perfect full-time dental staff
21 Dental Labour Statistics
By far, the biggest issue for dental offices is labour. Shortages are impacting nearly every office, and they’re not isolated to Canada or the United States. Offices are bleeding talent. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough new hygienists or assistants to meet demand. Worse, many offices are turning towards unsavory basement agencies to cauterize the wound — and most end up regretting their decision.
See the statistics below to get a better idea of the labour landscape in dentistry in 2023.
Dental Talent Shortage Statistics
- 30 to 40 percent of dental offices are actively recruiting dental hygienists and/or dental assistants. (ADA)
- In 2010, 3 dental hygienists were graduating for every dentist graduating in Canada. (Workforce)
- Since 2020, 1 dental hygienist is graduating for every dentist graduating. (Workforce)
- 2 to 9 percent of hygienists left the industry for good after COVID-19. (UPI)
- The United States needs at least 150,000 new dental workers to support the dental industry. (Today’sRDH)
- 31 percent of dental assistants (and 34 percent of hygienists) will retire within the next 5 years. (Dr. Bicuspid)
- Around 90 percent of dentists who are hiring are finding it difficult to recruit. (American Dental Hygienists Association)
Dental Hygienist Statistics
- 93 percent of dental hygienists are women. (Zippia)
- Over 300,000 dental hygienists are employed in the United States and Canada. (Dentistry IQ)
- The median pay for dental hygienists in the United States is $77,810 per year. (BLS)
- The median pay for dental hygienists in Canada is over $80,000 per year. (Job Bank)
- 22 percent of dental hygienists admit to feelings of burnout. (DentistryIQ)
- 16 percent of dental hygienists regret their career choice. (DentistryIQ)
- Hygienists are in the bottom 39 percent of careers in terms of happiness. (Career Explorer)
- 43 percent of hygienists that quit say it was because they weren’t respected by dentists. (Dental Products Report)
Dental Assistant Statistics
- The median pay for dental assistants in Canada is $24.73 per hour. (Job Bank)
- The median pay for dental assistants in the United States is $18.59 per hour (BLS)
- Dental assistants are in the bottom 32 percent of careers in terms of happiness. (Career Explorer)
- Dental assistant job satisfaction has dropped dramatically over the past few years — with around 40 percent of dental assistants admitting they aren’t satisfied. (Dental Assisting National Board)
- Over 45 percent of dental assistants say they are not valued at their office. (Dental Assisting National Board)
- 78 percent of dental assistants feel that they are in a career, not just a job. (Dental Assisting National Board)
Looking for a way out? WORKFORCE can help you secure high-quality dental talent immediately. Contact us to learn more.
17 Dental Productivity Statistics
Productivity is obviously the lifeblood of dental office success. The “Big Quit” has put a serious damper on yearly productivity for most offices. Yet, there are plenty of ways to create productivity beyond labour. Efficient scheduling, smarter practice systems, and effective marketing are all a good start.
Here are some statistics that may help.
Dental Office Productivity Statistics
- Introducing smarter and more efficient practice systems can boost productivity by 18 percent. (Dental Economics)
- 20 percent of dental offices do not offer patients a next appointment unless that patient requires specific treatments. (DentistryIQ)
- Dental practice schedules were 83 percent full in 2022. (American Dental Association)
- Practice owners are 25 percent more productive than non-practice owners. (Journal of Public Health Dentistry)
- 46 percent of dentists have negative feelings about the financials of their practice. (Practice Analytics)
- Only 1 in 20 calls connects with a patient and results in a scheduling. (Practice Analytics)
Dental Marketing Statistics
- The average ROI for email marketing is over 3,600 percent. (Constant Contact)
- The average click-through rate for emails is around 3 percent. (WordStream)
- 33 percent of email opens are because of a catchy subject line. (HubSpot)
- Patients spend 50 percent more with offices that respond to online reviews.
- The average ROI for pay per click marketing ads is 200 percent. (Small Biz Genius)
- 53 percent of all website traffic is organic (i.e., not paid ads). (Small Biz Genius)
- Websites with blogs generate 55 percent more traffic. (HubSpot)
- LinkedIn is the most trusted social media platform. (WordStream)
- 72 percent of small businesses have a website. (PR Newswire)
- People form an opinion about your website in 0.5 seconds. (SWEOR)
- 38 percent of people will avoid your website if it’s unattractive. (HubSpot)
- 75 percent of patients judge your practice by your website. (Kenesis Inc.)
9 Dental Office Financial Statistics
Most offices are in a tough spot financially (comparatively). Labour isn’t your only headache. Inflationary market conditions aren’t doing dentists any favors, especially as reimbursement rates continue to linger. While most offices are financially healthy, many are dealing with profit squeezes.
Here are some statistics that highlight the current state of dental office financials.
- The average conversion rate (turning patient inquiries into clients) is around 30 percent. (Patient Gain)
- High-performing dental offices see marketing ROIs of over 2,000 percent. (Dental Economics)
- The average dental office misses 20 percent of inbound phone calls, leaving over a hundred thousand dollars on the table each year. (Dentistry IQ)
- The average dental office carries $116,744.18 on the books in accounts receivable at any given time. (Pearly)
- The average annual revenue for dental offices across the United States is $343,584. (IRS)
- The average overhead for dental offices is 62 percent. (American Dental Association)
- The average net profit margin for dental offices is around 30 percent. (IRS)
- The average dental office spends between 20 and 30 percent of its revenue on labour. (IRS)
- The number of private dentists who own their practice fell from 84.7 percent in 2005 to 73 percent in 2021. (American Dental Association)
15 Dental Patient Population Statistics
Dental health is increasing as a whole across the United States and Canada. That said, there is still a significant chunk of the population that avoids the dentist altogether. Tapping into these patient populations is key for dental offices scrambling for growth.
Here are patient population statistics you should pay attention to in 2023.
- Around 50 percent of all Americans over the age of 30 have periodontal disease. (Journal of Periodontology)
- 13.2 percent of children (5 – 19) have untreated dental issues. (CDC)
- 25.9 percent of young adults (20 – 44) have untreated dental issues. (CDC)
- 25.3 percent of adults (45-64) have untreated dental issues. (CDC)
- 20.2 percent of older adults (65+) have untreated dental issues. (CDC)
- Cavities impact 2 billion people worldwide. (Washington Post)
- Around 1 billion people have severe gum disease. (Washington Post)
- 95 percent of American adults believe dental health is important. (American Dental Association)
- 20 percent of low-income American adults say their teeth are in poor condition. (American Dental Association)
- 39 percent of low-income American adults say their life is less satisfying due to the condition of their teeth. (American Dental Association)
- 47 percent of low-income Canadians have dental issues, and 33 percent say they can’t afford to fix them. (Canadian Dental Association)
- 53 percent of older adults (60 – 79) and 50 percent of low-income Canadians have no dental insurance. (Canadian Dental Association)
- 32 percent of all Canadians have no dental insurance. (Canadian Dental Association)
- 20 percent of Canadians do not have a dentist. (Canadian Dental Association)
- Over 58 percent of adults (and 23 percent of children) have at least one decaying tooth. (Canadian Dental Association)
5 Fear of the Dentist Statistics
Dental fears, anxieties, or phobias are common. Combatting them often requires a careful combination of successful outreach programs and in-office enthusiasm and charisma. Still, there is a small portion of patients that you simply won’t be able to convince to sit in the chair.
Here are some statistics to help you understand the patient population impacted by dental anxieties and fears.
- 36 percent of people have dental phobia. (Journal of Medical Principles and Practice)
- 61 percent of people have some fear when visiting the dentist (BioSpace)
- 19 percent of people have high levels of anxiety (American Dental Hygienists Association)
- Research suggests a significant chunk of dental phobia is attributed to how dentists are portrayed in the media, past experiences, and how their parents or loved ones react to dental offices. (Journal of Medical Principles and Practice)
- Over 42 percent of people are interested in sedation during dental procedures, though most admit cost is a barrier (The Journal of Sedation and Anesthesia in Dentistry)
8 Teledentistry Statistics
A hot topic during the pandemic, teledentistry continues to sit in an awkward position. But there’s tangible (and very strong) evidence that it’s worth a try. From our experience, some offices prosper from teledentistry — while others simply fall flat.
Here are some statistics that may help you understand the teledentistry space, and whether it’s worth the commitment.
- 23 percent of dentists use teledentistry. (Journal of BMC Oral Health)
- 55.7 percent of adults in rural areas visit dentists compared to 65.2 percent in larger cities, often due to distance constraints. (Emergen Research)
- Teledentistry is expected to swell into a 2.6 billion dollar market by 2027. (The Insight Partners)
- Telehealth/teledentistry has grown by 7,800 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. (McKinsey)
- Teledenist visits are less expensive and more profitable for dentists. (Dental Economics)
- 85 percent of dentists are exploring teledentistry with the intention of using it. (Dental Economics)
- Meta-analysis across 817 citations suggests teledentistry is effective for referrals, treatment planning, and treatment compliance. (Journal of Evidence-based Dentistry)
- 3 percent of adults have extreme dentophobia to the point they refuse to ever visit a dentist. (Cleveland Clinic)
Dental Statistics FAQs
Where can I find more dental statistics?
Answer: Dental journals, research agencies, and large consulting firms are generally the best source of high-quality statistics (like the stats above). Most clickbait online statistics come from small studies with poor trial design.
How many dental offices are dealing with the labour shortage?
Thirty to fourty percent of dentists are actively searching for hygienists/assistants. Ninety percent are finding it challenging.
Are dentists making profits?
Yes, but the average profit margin is only 30 percent. Offices hold around $115,000 in accounts receivable.
Where can I learn more about finding dental hygienists and assistants during the staffing shortage?
Check out our blog, or contact us to have a real discussion about getting valuable talent during this staffing shortage.