Demographics and Psychographics - Dental Industry

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Demographics and Psychographics - Dental Industry

The demographic profiles of dental patients, dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental office managers (decision-makers at dental practices), endodontists, and orthodontists in the US have been provided below. Additionally, we have provided the psychographic profiles of dental patients, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dentists in the US. Our detailed findings can be found below.

Dental Patients — Demographics

According to the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, in 2019, 67.6% of adults in the US reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic in the past year, up from 66.4% in 2018. A demographic profile of these dental patients can be found below.

Age

  • Based on dental visits, most of the dental patients in the United States i.e., 74.96 million are adults aged 18-44 years.
  • Of the total US adults aged 18-44 years, nearly 74.96 million or 64.6% reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic in 2018.
  • Of the total US adults aged 45-64, nearly 57 million or 68.2% said that they visited a dentist or dental clinic in 2018.
  • Of the total US adults aged 65 and above, nearly 35.8 million or 67.9% reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic in 2018.
  • A panel survey conducted in 2018 provides a further breakdown of the age groups of dental patients. According to this survey, 51.63% of people aged 30-49 years reported visiting a dentist in the past 12 months, followed by 50.37% of people aged 50-64 and 48.66% of people aged 18-29.
  • In 2018, 56.7% of children aged 2-17 reported visiting a dentist at least once.
  • In 2017, 84.9% of children aged 2-17 reported visiting a dentist in the last 12 months.

Gender

Ethnicity

  • White adults in the US are more likely to visit dentists or dental clinics, followed by Black and Hispanic adults.
  • In 2018, more than 109.6 million White American adults, constituting 69.7% of the total White adults in the US, reported visiting a dentist or a dental clinic.
  • Over 23.48 million Hispanic adults, constituting 58.4% of the total Hispanic adults in the US, visited a dentist during the same period.
  • 17.8 million or 60.5% of total Black adults in the US visited a dentist in 2018.
  • Around 9.2 million or 70.1% of total Asian adults in the US visited a dentist in 2018.

Income

  • Americans with an annual income of $75,000 and above are more likely to visit a dentist.
  • In 2018, 55.7 million high-income adults, constituting 80.9% of total adults with an annual income of $75,000 and more, visited a dentist.
  • 25.3 million adults with an annual income ranging from $25,000 to $49,999, making up 60.6% of this income group, reported visiting a dentist in 2018, followed by more than 21.1 million or 46.6% of low-income adults earning less than $25,000.
  • 20.36 million or 71.2% of US adults with an annual income of $50,000-$74,999 visited a dentist during the same period.
  • In 2015, 1 in 5 low-income adults in the US said their mouth and teeth are in poor condition.

Education

  • College graduates in the US are most likely to visit dentists. In 2018, 54.1 million college graduates, making up 80.4% of total college graduates, visited a dentist or dental clinic.
  • This is followed by nearly 44.85 million adults, 67.3% of total adults that received some college education.
  • In addition, over 33.8 million high school graduates, 59% of total high school graduates in the US, reported visiting a dentist in 2018, followed by close to 13 million or 44.6% of adults with less than a high school education.

Location

  • Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan are the top 11 US states by dental visits. More than 70% of adults in each of these states reported visiting a dentist or a dental clinic in the last 12 months.
  • While the above demographic profile is based on dental visits reported in CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of 2018, more recent data from the early release of selected estimates from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey indicates that 64.9% of adults aged 18 and over reported visiting a dentist for a dental exam or cleaning in 2019. A breakdown of demographic details of dental and oral health patients as of 2019 is not released yet.

Untreated Dental Conditions

  • According to the Oral Health Surveillance Report 2019, which presents oral health data till 2016, nearly 9 in 10 adults in the US are affected by caries. In addition, more than 1 in 4 (26%) of adults in the country have untreated tooth decay.
  • From 2013-16, 16.9% of children aged 5-19 had untreated dental caries.
  • Around 50% of adults aged 20-64 who were "non-Hispanic black, low-income, had less than a high school education, or currently smoking cigarettes had untreated tooth decay."
  • In addition, nearly 1 in 3 seniors aged 65 and above "who were Mexican American, non-Hispanic black, low-income, had less than a high school education, or were currently smoking cigarettes had untreated tooth decay."

Dental Assistants — Demographics

The average dental assistant in the US is a 37-year-old, non-Hispanic White female, has a certificate or associate degree, works at a dental office, and earns nearly $40,080 per year.

Age

  • As of 2018, the median age of dental assistants in the United States is 37 years.
  • The average age of dental assistants in the US was 35 years in 2015.
  • The average age of dental assistants varies slightly by gender. Male dental assistants have an average age of 36.3 years while female dental assistants have an average age of 37 years.

Gender

  • The dental assistant workforce in the US is primarily composed of females.
  • As of 2018, 93.8% of dental assistants in the US are female, up from 92.3% in 2017, and 93.6% in 2016.
  • On the other hand, only 6.16% of dental assistants are male, down from 7.69% in 2017 and 6.42% in 2016.
  • By numbers, there were around 281,000 female dental assistants in the US in 2018 as compared to approximately 18,000 male dental assistants.
  • An age and gender-wise breakdown of dental assistants in the US in 2018 is provided in the graph below.

Ethnicity

  • The most common ethnicity in the dental assistant workforce in the US is non-Hispanic White, followed by Hispanic White, and non-Hispanic Black.
  • As of 2018, 57.6% of dental assistants in the country are non-Hispanic White.
  • 15.4% of dental assistants are Hispanic Whites and 8.34% are non-Hispanic Black.
  • Asians make up 6.58% of the dental assistant workforce. Only 3.28% of dental assistants are multi-racial.

Income

Education

  • According to the American Dental Association, college-level education is encouraged for dental assistants, however, some dental assistants can start without college-level courses through on-the-job-training.
  • 83% of dental assistants in the US have a certificate or associate degree.
  • Only 9% of dental assistants have a high school diploma, 6% have a master's degree, and 2% have a bachelor's degree.

Employment

  • In 2019, there were 354,600 dental assistants employed in the United States. BLS estimates that the employment of dental assistants will grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029.
  • By the number of employees, the top three industries that employ dental assistants in the US in 2019 are:
  • In 2018, there were 298,668 dental assistants employed in the United States, up from 291,031 in 2017. The employment of dental assistants grew by 2.62% from 2017 to 2018.
  • By the number of employees, the top three industries that employed dental assistants in the US in 2018 were:

Location

  • As of 2019, the top states for dental assistants by employment are California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois. A thematic map representing the employment of dental assistants by state is provided below:
  • As of 2019, the highest paying states for dental assistants are Minnesota, Alaska, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and North Dakota. A thematic map representing the annual average wages of dental assistants by state is provided below:

Dental Hygienists — Demographics

The average dental hygienist in the US is a 42-year-old, non-Hispanic White female who has an associate degree in dental hygiene, works at a dental office, and earns nearly $76,220 per year.

Age

  • The median age of dental hygienists in the United States is 41.9 years or approximately 42 years.
  • The average age of dental hygienists varies slightly by gender. Male dental hygienists have an average age of 41.4 years while female dental hygienists have an average age of 41.9 years.

Gender

  • Like dental assistants, the dental hygienist workforce in the US is also primarily composed of females.
  • As such, 95.6% of dental hygienists in the country are female as compared to only 4.4% of male dental hygienists.
  • By numbers, there were around 176,000 female dental hygienists in the US in 2018 as compared to only 8,010 male dental hygienists.

Ethnicity

  • The most common ethnicity in the dental hygienist workforce in the US is non-Hispanic White, followed by Hispanic White, and non-Hispanic Asians.
  • As of 2018, 78.4% of dental hygienists in the country are non-Hispanic White.
  • 7.75% of dental hygienists are Hispanic Whites and 6.48% are non-Hispanic Asians.
  • Only 3.39% of dental hygienists in the US are Black.

Income

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental hygienists in the US was $76,220 in May 2019.
  • The median hourly wage for dental hygienists in the US in May 2019 was $36.65 per hour.
  • The annual wage for the lowest 10% of workers in this occupation group is less than $53,130 and the highest 10% is more than $103,340.
  • By median annual wages, the top three industries for dental hygienists in the US in May 2019 were:
  • In 2018, the average annual income of dental hygienists was $51,907, slightly lower than the average national salary of $53,888.

Education

  • Generally, an associate's degree in dental hygiene is required to become a dental hygienist in the US. Some dental hygienists also get a bachelor's degree. High school classes in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and English are usually required.
  • 79% of dental hygienists in the US have an associate's degree.
  • 21% of dental hygienists in the country have a bachelor's degree.
  • Dental hygiene programs usually take two to three years to complete.

Employment

  • In 2018, 184,000 dental hygienists were employed in the United States. By the number of employees, the top three industries that employed dental hygienists in the US in 2018 were:
    • Offices of dentists: 94.9%
    • General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (excluding psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals: 1.56%
    • Other health care services: 0.74%

Location

  • As of 2019, the top states for dental hygienists by employment are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Ohio. A thematic map representing the employment of dental hygienists by state is provided below:
  • As of 2019, the highest paying states for dental hygienists are Alaska, California, District of Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. A thematic map representing the annual average wages of dental hygienists by state is provided below:

Dental Therapists — Demographics

Dental Therapists, also known as Advanced Dental Therapists (ADT), Dental Health Therapists, or Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHAT), are a relatively newer addition to dental teams in the US. They were introduced by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in 2004 to expand access to dental care in tribal communities of Alaska. Today, most of the dental therapists in the US are working in Minnesota and Alaska. Hence, the demographics of dental therapists in these states have been provided below.

Location

  • Most of the dental therapists in the US are working in Minnesota, followed by Alaska.
  • As of December 2018, there are 92 dental therapists in Minnesota with active licenses.
  • There are 35 Dental Health Aide Therapists practicing in Alaska.
  • While several other states including Vermont, Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, and Idaho have allowed dental therapists to work, currently, dental therapists practice only in Minnesota, Maine, tribal areas of Alaska and Washington, and in Oregon and Idaho under pilot programs. States other than Minnesota and Alaska have no more than a few practicing dental therapists.

Age

  • Dental therapists in Minnesota are young, with a median age of 33.
  • 57% of dental therapists in Minnesota are less than 35 years old.
  • 22% of dental therapists in Minnesota are aged 35-44.
  • 17% of dental therapists in Minnesota are aged 45-54.
  • 4% of dental therapists in Minnesota are aged 55-64.
  • The median age of Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHATs) in Alaska is 34 years. The general age range is 23-57 years.

Gender

  • 86% of dental therapists in Minnesota are female while 14% are male.
  • In Alaska, 80% of DHATs are female and 20% are male.

Ethnicity

  • 82% of dental therapists in Minnesota are White.
  • A detailed racial breakdown of dental therapists in Minnesota can be found in the image below:

Income

  • Dental Therapists in Minnesota make $61,639 per year on average. Their average per hour salary is $30.
  • Advanced Dental Therapists in Minnesota make $67,220 per year on average. Their average per hour salary is $32.
  • The average salary of a dental therapist in Alaska is $63,664 per year. Their average per hour salary is $31.

Education

  • 67% of Minnesota's dental therapists have a master's degree.
  • In addition, 24% of Minnesota's dental therapists "have an education credential beyond a master's degree".
  • Minnesota offers two educational programs for dental therapists. "Metropolitan State University offers dental hygienists a Master of Science degree in advanced dental therapy. The University of Minnesota Dental School offers a dual degree: a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene/Master of Dental Therapy. With additional training, dental school graduates can also become advanced dental therapists."
  • However, a master's degree is not required to work as a dental therapist in Minnesota. "Dental therapists must graduate from a Minnesota Board of Dentistry or Commission on Dental Accreditation approved program with at least a bachelor's degree."
  • Alaska offers a two-year program, Alaska Dental Therapy Educational Program (ADTEP), for dental therapists. This program is followed by at least 3 months of preceptorship with a dentist after which, dental therapists can obtain "certification by the Alaska Community Health Aide Program Certification Board."

Endodontists — Demographics

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are 5,711 endodontists in the US as of 2019. No recent information on the demographics of the endodontist workforce in the US was available on the website, news releases, and publications of the American Association of Endodontists, ADA, American Board of Endodontics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and DentistryIQ. Hence, some demographic characteristics of endodontists in the US were estimated using the information on endodontics degree recipients in the US. Information on the age of endodontics degree recipients or endodontists was not available. Hence, we have provided information on their location instead.

Gender

  • An estimated 61.9% of recipients of an endodontics degree in the US are male.
  • On the other hand, 38.1% of recipients of an endodontics degree from the top five "institutions that graduate the most students in Endodontics" are female.

Ethnicity

  • In 2017, 40.3% of recipients of an endodontics degree in the US were White.
  • This was followed by non-resident aliens (29.1%) and Asians (14.9%).
  • Only 3.73% of endodontics degree recipients were Black and 2.24% were Hispanic.

Income

  • As of October 28, 2020, endodontists in the US earn $289,656 per year. Their average per hour salary is $139.
  • Depending on location and experience, their annual salary can be as low as $133,500 and as high as $398,500.

Education

  • While less than 3% of dentists are endodontists, all endodontists are dentists, which means they complete four years of dental school before they can join "two to three years of additional education in an advanced specialty program in endodontics".
  • In 2017, 68.7% of endodontics degrees awarded to students were Post-Masters Certificates.

Location

Orthodontists — Demographics

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are 10,814 orthodontists in the US as of 2019, up from 10,779 and 10,658 in 2018 and 2017. The average orthodontist in the US is a 50-year-old, White male who has a doctorate and an annual income of $230,830.

Age

  • The average age of professionally active orthodontists in the US is 50 years. However, most of the active orthodontists in the country are between ages 35 and 54.
  • 12% of active orthodontists are less than 35 years old.
  • 28% of active orthodontists are aged 35-44.
  • 24% of active orthodontists are aged 45-54.
  • 21% of active orthodontists are aged 55-64
  • 16% of active orthodontists are aged 65 and over.

Gender

  • Orthodontists in the US are predominantly male.
  • As of 2018, 72% of the total professionally active orthodontists in the country are male and 28% are females.
  • However, the percentage of women becoming an orthodontist is increasing over time. For example, 50% of orthodontists under the age of 35 are females, as compared to nearly 35% of orthodontists aged 35-44.
  • An age and gender-wise breakdown of orthodontists in the US as of 2018 is provided in the graph below.

Ethnicity

Income

Education

Location

Dental Office Managers — Demographics

The average dental office manager in the US is a 45-year-old female who works at a private practice and earns 51,882 per year. Information on the ethnicity/race of dental office managers was not available. Hence, we have provided information on their work and marital status instead.

Age

  • According to the Futuredontics' national survey of dental office managers 2019, 66% of office managers in dental practices across the US are aged 45 and above.
  • As of 2019, the average age of a typical dental office manager in the US is 45 years.
  • 9% of dental office managers are less than 35 years old.
  • 25% of dental office managers are aged 35-44.
  • 36% of dental office managers are aged 45-54.
  • 30% of dental office managers are aged 55 and above.

Gender

  • A majority of dental office managers i.e., 97% are female as of 2019, up from 92% in 2014.
  • Only 3% of office managers in dental practices across the US are male, down from 8% in 2014.

Income

  • As of October 28, 2020, dental office managers in the US have an average annual salary of $51,882. Their average per hour salary is $25.
  • Their annual salary can be as low as $30,000 and as high as $74,000.
  • 33% of dental office managers surveyed by Futuredontics earn more than $60,000 a year.
  • 21% of dental office managers reported an annual income of $50,000-$59,000 while 20% reported earning $40,000-$49,000 per year.

Education

  • 37% of dental office managers have a high school diploma and 32% have an associate's degree.
  • A bachelor's degree is often not required. Only 25% of dental office managers have a bachelor's degree and 4% have a master's degree.

Worklife

  • Most of the dental office managers, i.e., 56% work 30-40 hours per week.
  • However, 38% of dental office managers report working more than 40 hours a week. Among these, 31% work 40-50 hours and 7% work more than 50 hours a week.
  • Only 6% of dental office managers work less than 30 hours a week.
  • 94% of dental office managers work at private practices and 83% supervise more than 5 staff members.
  • Dental office managers serve as leaders in dental practices. They are responsible for "supervising staff, maintaining appointment schedules, coordinating patient treatment," and managing budget, billing, salaries, and expenses, among others.
  • Most of the dental office managers are "satisfied with the level of support practice ownership provides them with to do their jobs", as indicated below:

Marital Status

  • 84% of office managers in dental practices across the US are married or in long-term relationships.
  • In addition, 81% of dental office managers have children.

Dental Patients — Psychographics

Values

  • A recent national survey conducted by Delta Dental indicates that 93% of adults in the US consider their oral health important, up from 85% in 2017. 88% are "dedicated to the well-being of their mouth, teeth, and gums."
  • The ADA's Oral Health and Well-Being survey of 2015 indicated that 97% of Americans value oral health.
  • When selecting a dentist, insurance coverage, good chair-side manners, and academic credentials are extremely important for dental patients.
  • Dental patients also value friends and family recommendations and online reviews before selecting a dental practice.
  • Millennials, who are less likely to visit a dentist unless they have a toothache, consider the website of a dentist with insurance, cost, and procedure-related information as well as the ability to book appointments online extremely important before selecting a dentist.

Core Objections

  • The most common objections dental patients have around visiting a dentist and seeking dental care are cost, fear of dental work, inconvenient location or time, trouble finding a dentist, and bad experiences.
  • 59% of respondents in ADA's Oral Health and Well-Being survey 2015 listed cost as the main reason they avoid seeing a dentist.
  • 22% of respondents said they are afraid of the dentist and 19% blamed inconvenient location or time.
  • Among adults aged 18-35, the lack of perceived need is one of the most common reasons for not visiting the dentist.
  • According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2017, among people who reported difficulty in access to dental care, 58.2% said they could not afford dental care, 13.6% had insurance-related difficulties, and 30.8% had other difficulties. The reasons stated for difficulty "are not mutually exclusive. For instance, a person can have difficulty due to insurance-related issues as well as affordability."

Dental Visit Habits

  • In March 2020, Weave surveyed over 1,100 people in the US "to learn more about their dental care hygiene habits and their preferences for interacting with their dental care providers."
  • In the survey, 41% of dental patients said they would "forget to schedule a cleaning if they didn't receive a reminder from their dentist."
  • Many dental patients prefer dental appointment reminders by text, instead of by email or phone call.
  • Most of the dental patients (86%) pay attention to a text from their dentist.
  • 41% of dental patients prefer paying their bill via text, however, only "12% say their dentist accepts text payments."
  • Around 70% of dental patients are willing to leave an online review if they receive a link from their dentist.
  • A survey by Delta Dental indicates that 42% of US adults do not see a dentist as often as they would like.

Dental Care Habits

  • An estimated 70% of Americans "brush their teeth twice a day, typically once before bedtime and once when they wake up. On average, Americans brush their teeth for 1 minute 52 seconds."
  • 4 in 10 people in the US report flossing their teeth at least once a day.

Dental Care Habits during COVID-19

  • During the pandemic, 77% of Americans said they brush their teeth twice a day or more, up from 75% in January 2020 and 68% in 2019.
  • In addition, 45% have been using mouthwash twice a day, up from 41% in January 2020.
  • 38% of Americans reported flossing at least once a day during the pandemic. An additional 35% floss twice a day.

Traits

Dental Visit Attitudes

  • According to ADA's Oral Health and Well-Being survey, 95% of Americans believe that regular dental visits will keep them healthy.
  • In addition, "85% feel they need to visit the dentist twice a year."
  • 82% of people believe that having straight, bright teeth makes it easy to get ahead in life.

Dental Visit Motivations

  • A national survey conducted by Delta Dental in December 2017 indicates that 52% of dental patients made their last appointment for a regular dental checkup.
  • On the other hand, 17% made an appointment for a dental procedure and 15% made a dental appointment due to pain in the mouth.
  • Most Americans say dental insurance has a positive impact on their oral and overall health. Dental insurance motivates 86% of Americans to adopt good oral health habits and lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Vanity, awareness, personal responsibility, access to dental insurance, and support from loved ones are other drivers that motivate dental patients to see a dentist.

Dental Assistants — Psychographics

Values

Core Objections

  • Dental assistants have to deal with a lot of unreliable patients. Some patients are late for their appointment, some cancel appointments at the last minute, and some don't show up at all. Dental staff usually has a jam-packed schedule which is disrupted by cancellations and late patients.
  • Dental assistants are responsible for managing the dentist’s exam room and keep it clean with sterilized instruments and equipment. They also have to comfort and reassure patients who are nervous or afraid. Often, they are unable to take a break and end up exhausted and stressed.
  • 89% of dental assistants say they are exposed to infections and diseases every day, 75% say they are exposed to radiation every day, and 71% say they are exposed to contaminants every day.
  • Due to the nature of their work, many dental assistants complain of back pain, carpal tunnel issues, and other physical ailments. 52% of dental assistants continually or almost continually make repetitive motions during their workday. 45% spend more than half of the time sitting, and 38% spend nearly half the time standing.
  • Half of the dental assistants work at a cramped workspace, in awkward positions every day. Moreover, 50% are exposed to distracting or uncomfortable sound and noise levels at the workplace every day.

Work Habits

  • Nearly half of all dental assistants in the US work for 35-40 hours a week.
  • Most of them work full time, sometimes even on Saturday or in the evening. However, they can choose to work part-time as well.
  • All dental assistants wear protective gear including surgical masks, protective clothing, gloves, safety glasses, etc.
  • 51% of dental assistants say they have "some freedom" to make decisions. 66% report decision-making on a daily basis and 37% consider the impact of their decisions on co-workers or the company "very important".
  • A survey conducted by the DALE Foundation indicates that dental assistants play a major role in dental practices' purchase decisions. 74% of dental assistants "recommend products and 72% are involved in placing orders."

Interests and Personality Traits

Hobbies

  • In their free time, dental assistants are creative crafters. Some of their hobbies include knitting, crocheting, card making, reading, and other arts and crafts activities.
  • In addition, many dental assistants participate in volunteer activities to help their communities.

Dental Hygienists — Psychographics

Values

  • The most important values for dental hygienists are individual autonomy and respect for human beings, confidentiality, societal trust, and non-maleficence.
  • Dental hygienists realize that their patients have the right to informed consent before treatment, full disclosure of any and all relevant information, and most importantly, the right to be treated with respect. They value the confidentiality of client information, clients' trust, and their obligation to provide services in a way that protects their clients.
  • Beneficence, fair and equitable distribution of health care resources, and veracity are additional important values for dental hygienists.
  • Their work values revolve around relationships i.e., ability to work with peers in a friendly and non-competitive environment, supportive management, freedom to work and make decisions on their own, job security, and good working conditions. They also value being result-oriented.

Core Objections

  • Dental hygienists are "often discounted in their role" as healthcare professionals by the public. This is mostly due to the impression that dental hygienists attend only two years of college to get an associate degree. Actually, dental hygienists are required to take several college prerequisite classes before they can enroll in a two-to-three-year dental hygiene program, adding at least one more year of college education.
  • Being a dental hygienist is physically demanding. Dental hygienists move around throughout the day and work with repetitive motions, making them suffer from a variety of "job-related musculoskeletal problems."
  • In fact, 74% of dental hygienists continually or almost continually make repetitive motions during their workday. The remaining 26% report making repetitive motions more than half the time. To avoid this, their patients have to be "lying in a supine position." However, most patients refuse to do so, making it very difficult for dental hygienists to work in a comfortable position.
  • Nearly half (49%) of the dental hygienists work at a cramped workspace, in awkward positions every day. Moreover, 59% are exposed to distracting or uncomfortable sound and noise levels at the workplace every day.
  • In addition, all dental hygienists are exposed to infections and diseases every day, 91% are exposed to radiation every day, and 78% say they are exposed to contaminants every day.
  • Dental hygienists have a lot of work to do in limited time. They discuss the patient's medical history, take their vitals and x-rays, clean their teeth, examine their gums, and look for abnormalities. In addition, they have to perform the same steps several times a day, every day. The monotony of their job often leads to burnout.
  • Like the other dental staff, they also have to deal with patients who are anxious and afraid and ensure that these patients feel comfortable and safe.

Work Habits

  • According to the 2020 Dental Hygienist Salary Survey, which surveyed 3,977 dental hygienists, 85% of the Registered Dental Hygienists (RDHs) work in private practices while only 10% work at corporate dental practices.
  • Young dental hygienists (aged 18-24) are twice as likely to work in corporate dentistry than those aged 45 and above.
  • Dental hygienists work both full-time and part-time. In the 2020 survey, 66% of dental hygienists reported working full-time compared to 33% of dental hygienists that work part-time.
  • In addition, some dental hygienists work for more than one dentist/have multiple jobs. Of the 66% dental hygienists that work full-time, 12% have multiple jobs. Similarly, 12% of dental hygienists working part-time have more than one job.
  • 60% of the surveyed dental hygienists work 31-40 hours a week. Nearly 1 in 30 dental hygienists report working more than 40 hours a week.
  • All dental hygienists wear surgical masks, safety glasses, and gloves every day at work. 44% report continually or almost continually sitting while 52% spend more than half of the time sitting.
  • 44% of dental hygienists say they have "limited freedom" to make decisions, compared to 55% of those who have some or a lot of freedom to make decisions.
  • 65% report decision-making on a daily basis and 81% consider the impact of their decisions on co-workers or the company important or very important.

Interests and Personality Traits

  • CareerExplorer surveyed more than 600 dental hygienists to determine their personality traits using the Holland Codes.
  • The survey indicates that dental hygienists tend to be social and realistic. They like working with others, solving social problems, and helping people. They excel in an environment where they can socially interact with, persuade, and assure people. Dental hygienists tend to be friendly, empathetic, and cooperative.
  • Dental hygienists are also realistic, meaning they enjoy working outdoors and on hands-on projects. They also like engaging in physical, mechanical, and practical activities. They are good with tools, equipment, and machines as well as plants and animals.
  • In addition, dental hygienists are detail-oriented, passionate about oral and general health, active, energetic, outgoing, and have a positive attitude. Most importantly, they are patient with people, especially those who are afraid of dental procedures.

Hobbies

  • In a 2015 survey, over 50% of dental hygienists said that they are stressed by their jobs. Among these, 67% blamed their workload or a supervisor for job-related stress.
  • Some activities and hobbies dental hygienists engage in to cope with stress can be found in the image below:

Family Life

  • Dental hygienists usually live in a multi-income household allowing them to seek flexible work schedules.
  • Dental hygienists aged 35-44 are most likely (75%) to have at least one child living in the home, followed by hygienists in the 25-34 and 45-54 age groups.

Dentists — Psychographics

Values

  • Dentists value friendly and non-competitive relationships at work. They also value their freedom to work and make decisions on their own and prefer to work in a result-oriented environment.
  • According to DataUSA, the average age of male dentists is 50.2 years and that of a female dentist is 42.4. This means that the average dentist in the US belongs to Generation X.
  • This generation values freedom and responsibility, work-life balance, diversity, and an informal environment.
  • Generation X holds strong family values.
  • They also "value good deals, are most likely to shop for items on sale," and take advantage of coupons.

Core Objections

  • Huge student loan debts force young dentists to work in corporate dentistry for several years before they can join a small group private or start their own private practice.
  • Due to limited time on their hands, dentists at private practices often struggle with hiring the right staff.
  • Complications surrounding insurance billing and appealing denied claims are major issues faced by dentists. As a result, many dentists choose not to participate in dental insurance plans.
  • 87% of dentists say they are exposed to infections and diseases every day, 74% are exposed to radiation every day, and 55% say they are exposed to contaminants every day.
  • Due to the nature of their work, many dentists suffer from back pain. 74% of dentists report continually or almost continually making repetitive motions during their workday. 45% of the dentists work at a cramped workspace, in awkward positions every day.

Work Habits

  • The vast majority (90%) of dentists in the US work in private practices.
  • The remaining 10% is engaged in teaching and research-related positions or work in the government, armed forces, or other clinical settings.
  • Most dentists, particularly those working in private practices, work full-time, 36 hours a week. However, they have great flexibility in the number of hours they work. Many of them work in the evenings and on weekends.
  • In a recent survey, 30% of dentists in the US reported treating 100 or more patients in a week. 40% said they treat 51 to 100 patients and 30% said they treat 50 or fewer patients in a week.
  • 30% of dentists surveyed said they treat 100 or more patients per week, 40% treat 51 to 100 patients, and 30% treat 50 or fewer patients.
  • 87% of dentists wear common protective gear including surgical masks, gloves, and safety glasses, every day. 49% say they wear specialized protective gear (e.g., full protection suits) every day.
  • 44% of dentists spend more than half of the time sitting.
  • 77% of dentists say they have a lot of freedom to make decisions during their job.
  • 90% report decision-making on a daily basis and 85% consider the impact of their decisions on co-workers or the company very important.

Other Habits

  • In ADA's 2015 Dentist Well-Being Survey Report, 94% of dentists said that they exercise during the week.
  • On average, dentists exercise for 5 hours in a typical week.
  • Almost all (91%) of dentists sleep between 6 to 8 hours at night.
  • 70% of dentists engage in religious or spiritual activities during a typical week.

Interests and Personality Traits

  • CareerExplorer surveyed over 840 dentists to determine their personality traits using the Holland Codes. The survey indicates that like dental hygienists, dentists also tend to be realistic, meaning they enjoy working outdoors and on hands-on projects. They also like engaging in physical, mechanical, and practical activities. They are good with tools, equipment, and machines as well as plants and animals.
  • In addition, dentists are usually investigative. They tend to analyze situations before making a decision. They are curious and insightful as well as independent thinkers who prefer reading, working with ideas, and critical thinking to solve problems.
  • O*NET database further indicates that dentists are generally social. They like working with others, solving social problems, and helping people.
  • Other common personality traits of a dentist include "being detail-oriented, artistic, a leader, trustworthy, and easy to talk to."

Purchasing Behavior

  • Approximately 53% of dentists in the US spend over 10% of their annual practice budget on purchasing new technology.
  • 29% of dentists participate in a group purchasing organization (GPO) to make a purchase.
  • Around 80% of dentists are members of a professional association. Among these, 54% rely on information from their professional associations to make purchasing decisions.
  • In addition, 38% of dentists are members of study clubs. Of these, 74% rely on information from study clubs before purchasing products.
  • Seventy-five percent of dentists consider clinical research an important step when deciding to switch to a new product.

Hobbies

Sources
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