7 Amazing Facts About Dentists

Yes, dentists, you really are amazing!

Did you know that there are currently over 201,000 dentists working today in the United States? That’s one dentist for every 1600 people! We all know that dentistry has been with us for thousands of years, but how many amazing facts about dentists do you know? Today, we’ll share with you some cool facts about dentists that you’ll be itching to tell everyone you speak to. 

1. The first dentist was 5000 years ago!

The first recorded dentist lived in 3000 BC. The ancient Egyptian, known as Hesi-Re, was renowned as the very first tooth expert.

Although there isn’t that much known about him, we know that ancient Egyptians took care of their teeth. The rich Egyptians had their servants clean them. The ancient Egyptians were also known to have created cocktails of herbs to help relieve common tooth problems, like gingivitis and inflammation of the tooth’s pulp.

Although they weren’t as advanced as we are today, the ancient Egyptians were well ahead of their time in terms of medicine. 

2. Dentistry is one of the top jobs in the US.

If you’re a dentist, you’ll already know what a great career path it is to follow, but did you know that dentistry ranks as the ninth-best job to have in the US? That’s according to U.S News & World Report’s annual job rankings. 

The scorecard for dentistry sees it claiming lots of points for its great salary, and for the booming dentistry job market. The low unemployment rate (0.2%) for qualified dentists also contributes to this being a top career choice for many. According to this same report, Burlington, North Carolina, is the best-paid city for dentists. 

3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the best-paid dentists.

If you’re after the big bucks for your dental work, then it’s worth taking the extra few years’ worth of training to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. With an average salary of $237,570, compared with an average salary of $178,260 for general dentists, bridging the gap between medical science and dental science is an attractive prospect for many dentists entering the profession. 

4. There’ll be 10,400 new dentists by 2028.

Dentistry is a growing field with more and more dentists picking up a dental drill for the first time. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in just seven years, there will be an extra 10,400 new dentists in the United States—that’s an employment growth of 7.6%.

This rise will be boosted by changes in health care law, a rise in the population, and the retirement of dentists who underwent their training throughout the ’60s and ’70s.

5. 80% of dentists practice general dentistry.

Only around 20% of dentists have a specialty that is recognized by the ADA. The majority of dentists practice general dentistry and work on maintaining the overall oral health of their patients—something every patient needs!

However, if you’re a specialist, such as an orthodontist, you should view yourself with pride for being one of the few in dentistry to take on a speciality. As a specialist, your work matters to the field of dentistry, your patients, and your personal sense of development. Taking those extra few years of residency is well worthwhile. 

6. 80% of dentists go into private practice.

Did you know that 80% of dentists go into private practice? Owning your own practice is demanding, challenging, and rewarding. 

Or at least we hope it’s rewarding. If you’re finding it less rewarding than you would hope, we have some resources for you. Check out our post on getting your whole team on board, consider following these dental blogs, and think about some continuing education courses that could enhance your practice. Want to know what the most popular advanced dentistry options are? We give you an overview of the top five here.

7. Lucy Hobbs Taylor and Emeline Roberts Jones

It may surprise you to learn that only a little more than one-third of dentists are female. That said, there have been plenty of notable women working in the field. Two women earned the title of first female dentist in the 19th century. While that sounds confusing, one began to practice dentistry as the first female doing so, while the other was the first female to earn a DDS.

The first woman to receive a DDS was Lucy Hobbs Taylor in 1866. Emeline Roberts Jones was the first woman to practice dentistry in 1855 at the age of 18. Emeline began to fill teeth alongside her husband, likely working without any kind of formal education in dentistry, after disproving his belief that women’s fingers were too “frail and clumsy” for dentistry. From the time she was 19 until her husband’s death when she was 28, she worked as his assistant. After his death, she took over the business and ended up running one of the most lucrative dental practices in Connecticut.

Emeline died in 1916, having served on the Woman’s Advisory Council of the World’s Columbian Dental Congress as well as a member of the Connecticut State Dental Society. Posthumously, she was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. 

Facts About Dentists’ Jobs

Next time you pick up your drill or dental probe, think about those trailblazers who went before you, as well as those currently working in the field right now. If you’re interested in further developing your dentistry skills, practice, and career, learn more about membership. Or, you can learn about our exciting upcoming courses.

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

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