Dentists are reporting fewer children in their office
8 hours ago – DENTISTRY ONLINE: A report from the Los Angeles-based Association of Dental Surgeons (ADS) shows that the number of dental patients has fallen from 8.3 million in 2008 to 7.6 million in 2017.
The report, which was commissioned by the American Dental Association, notes that “Dental health care has become increasingly expensive, with the cost of dental care rising at an unprecedented rate.”
It’s the first time that dentists have reported a decline in patient numbers since 2000.
It’s a troubling trend, given that dental care in the US has become the largest employer in the country and one of the leading causes of preventable death.
The Los Angeles Times reports that in recent years, dental hospitals have reported an increase in deaths from preventable causes, including heart attacks, strokes, cancer and falls, as well as accidents and infections.
It also found that the rate of dental visits has decreased from 890 million in 2010 to 689 million in 2016.
In 2016, the US had about 9.2 million dental residents, which represented a decrease from 8 million in 2000.
The ADS, which represents the nation’s dental health care professionals, noted that the overall decline in patients is due to many factors, including a rise in the use of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, as dentists work more hours and are more involved in patient care.
However, they also note that many people who visit the dentist are younger than their parents and therefore are less likely to be dentists.
Dentists, for their part, note that they are seeing fewer children, and in some cases, no children.
In the past, there were many children who could be seen in the office and who could attend their parents’ appointments, but now fewer than half of the offices surveyed have any children present, according to the report.
In 2018, the number had fallen to 49 percent.
While it’s difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the report, dentists do have one thing to say about the trend: it’s concerning.
According to the ADS report, “Our patients are a part of our culture and a part our business model.
Our business is based on the fact that we provide high quality care to our patients.”
And that’s not all that dentistry is doing, though.
“In 2017, dentistry was the number one source of revenue for the nation and by 2019, it was the third largest industry in the United States,” ADS Executive Director James T. Langer said.
“The decline in children in our offices and the increasing reliance on digital technologies, combined with the increasing number of high-tech devices, means that the dental profession is in a challenging position in the 21st century.”
A dentists report about the report can be found at www.associationofdentalsurgeons.org.
-Follow Sarah on Twitter at @joshchang_n.