Straine-On-Success — ADA — Top Five Trends in 2015

Published on October 19, 2015

Whether it’s earnings or dental spending, there are a few trends that continue to persist. However, dentistry is a profession in transition. Important economic and political changes are changing the landscape of the profession. ADA’s Health Policy Institute (HPI) has reviewed the state of the dental market and we have compiled five major trends to be aware of in 2015.

1. Total Dental Spending is Flat Since 2008 (Demand is flat)

The 2014 report found that dental spending in the U.S. did not see an upward trend in 2012. The report data cover three full years of the period since the Great Recession and suggest very strongly that the dental economy is not rebounding, the authors noted.

2. Dentists’ Earnings are Down Since 2006

Incomes began to decline in the mid-2000s, several years before the start of the Great Recession. There are important differences in dentists earnings by location, gender, and type of employment arrangement that requires more analysis.

3. Supply of Dentists is Increasing Through 2023 and Beyond

Under what we consider to be the most probable scenario, the per capita supply of dentists in the United States is projected to increase through 2033. Total inflows to the dentist workforce are expected to exceed total outflows, and the net gain is expected to exceed the growth in the U.S. population.

4. Medicaid Markets are Poised to Grow Significantly

Due to the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid market for dental care will grow significantly in many states. Even in many states electing not to expand Medicaid eligibility, there will still be a large influx of adults and children into Medicaid.

5. Cost and Low Perceived Need Are Top Reasons Adults Forego Dental Treatment

One of the most important findings of the HPI report is that the utilization of dental care is declining among working-age adults and that this trend is unrelated to the recent economic downturn.


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