The Impending Dentist Shortage
There are challenges in every industry and dentistry is no exception. The most prominent challenge in the dentistry industry is the projected shortage of dentists, however there are other issues which also include patient barriers to care, and health concerns. Although it may seem like there is little your practice can do to address these industry issues, having plans to address them will help both your practice and your patients’ well-being.
Projected Shortage of Dentists
As the median age of dentists is increasing, many dentists are nearing retirement age and even contemplating selling their practices. Unfortunately, the aging dentists are not the only problem leading to the projected shortage. Another key factor is the shortage of dental educators which is leading to less new and younger dentists entering into the profession.
The shortage of dental educators is a complex issue that is not easily solved. In some areas, there is already a shortage of dentists which is leading to the shortage of educators. However, another issue is that dentists who are good at their jobs may not have ideal teaching skills. Students who are accustomed to learning in a classroom where the instructor had an education degree will likely see a much different approach when a professional is the educator and have a more difficult time adjusting to the change in methodologies.
This industry trend may first appear beneficial for business because it is leading to less competition, but problems will eventually arise when the aging dentists begin to retire and there is no one to replace them. If you are a dentist with your own practice, you should make sure to have a contingency plan for the well-being of your patients.
Also see: Dentists Nearing Retirement
Davis & Hodgdon Associates has been assisting businesses within all industries including dentistry in the Burlington Vermont Metro area for more than 20 years. The firm provides tax planning and compliance as well as a complete menu of business services including succession planning to businesses of all sizes. For more information visit: http://www.dh-cpa.com/entrepreneur-services.html or call 802.878.1963.
Alyssa McBride, Associate Accountant
Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs