Have you read this yet?
If you’d rather skip reading the entire document that provides for a grim outlook the ADA has painted for Dentistry, then I’ll sum it up here:
- Dentists’ average incomes are down.
- Dental care “use” among adults is down. Demand is down.
- A new “normal” is ahead of us and it’s not pretty. At all.
Here are the results I’ve quoted below, from the ADA HPI study:
Inflation-adjusted GDP per capita has increased each year since 2009, up 6.5 percent in total from 2009 to 2014. The U.S. economy is clearly in steady recovery [This is data from 2013, folks. Take a look at current stock market conditions, and, other countries that are heavily influenced by the US Economy, like China. We’re in a free-fall slide and it’s going to get ugly before it gets better…there is no recovery that I can see…if there was, would not have Dentists’ average income also increase with this “steady recovery?]. By contrast, over the same period, inflation-adjusted U.S. mean household income increased by only 1.0 percent. While the U.S. economy is in recovery, household incomes are not.In 2014, average annual net income was $174,780 for general practitioner dentists (GPs) and $322,200 for specialists (Figure 1). [Emphasis mine] Average annual net income was $183,340 for owner GPs and $134,020 for non-owner GPs (not shown in Figure 1).When adjusted for inflation, average incomes have decreased significantly for all GPs combined since the peak value of $219,378, which occurred in 2005 and has decreased steadily since 2009, the end of the Great Recession. [Emphasis mine]The decrease from 2013 to 2014 is statistically significant. Net incomes increased for specialists from 2013 to 2014 but are still significantly down from 2007. It is clear from our analysis that dentists’ average net incomes are not recovering with the rebound in the U.S. economy. [Emphasis, mine]The percentage of dentists self-described as “not busy enough” decreased from 36 percent (2013) to 34 percent (2014) for GPs, but this change was not statistically significant. Among specialists, the decrease in the percentage of dentists “not busy enough” from 37 percent (2013) to 31 percent (2014) is statistically significant (Figure 2). Among GPs, 40 percent of solo practitioners (a single owner dentist in the practice) indicated they were not busy enough compared to 18 percent of non-owner GPs (Figure 3).Average wait times appear to have made a slight turnaround since 2012. The average wait time for a GP appointment decreased from 9.6 days (2001) to 4.5 days (2012) and then increased to 5.0 days in 2014 for a patient of record. The increase from 2012 to 2014 is statistically significant. For a new patient, the average wait time decreased from 10.8 days in 2001 to 5.3 days in 2012 and then increased to 6.2 days in 2014. Again, the increase from 2012 to 2014 is statistically significant (Figure 4). These data suggest strongly that significant unused capacity remains in the dental care system. [Emphasis mine]