Many dental practice owners will look back over the past few years as periods of significant change within the industry. As the dust settles on 2017 and the festive season starts to become a distant memory, we have asked the question “What is the most important trend in European dentistry that will mark 2018?”
Our conclusion: dentistry is well on its way to becoming a female dominated profession
When it comes to the face of dentistry, the times are indeed changing. According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre in the UK, the dental workforce working solely within the National Health Service (NHS) has seen a huge increase in the number of women dentists. This has gone from 38.8% in 2006/7 to 47.1% in 2014/15. What’s more, women dentists are in the majority among the under 35’s, with 57% being female.
If anything, statistics from other countries suggest the UK may even be a laggard in this trend. For example, one source suggests that 60% of practicing dentists in Europe are already women and this reaches 75% in Finland.
So, why has this increased?
- Dentistry allows greater flexibility with working hours than many other professions.
- More women are holding top dental positions. For example, the UK’s Chief Dental Officer is currently a woman and this is inspiring others to take up the cause.
…and what does this mean for dentistry?
- Women fit well into modern dentistry. And there is a need for more women in the profession as a 2015 survey shows. Patients stated that they feel more relaxed around a female dentist.