While dentistry is traditionally a male dominated profession, the proportion of female dentists is on the rise, according to a report released this week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report by AIHW, Dental workforce 2012, looks at the characteristics of the Australian dental practitioner workforce in 2012. Overall, there were 19,462 dental practitioners registered in Australia in 2012 and about 6,811 or 37% of these are women.
A dental practitioner is a trained professional in dentistry, oral health therapy, dental hygiene, dental therapy or dental prosthetics.
While more women are entering the profession, the news isn’t all good because it is still men who are the profession’s top money earners. For example, dental prosthetists were much more likely to be men, with women making up just 15% of this workforce.
On average, dentists worked 37 hours per week in 2012, a slight drop from 2011. About 32% of dentists worked part time.
The majority of employed dentists worked in private practice (80% of clinicians and 77% of all dentists), as did most specialists (75%).
As expected, major cities had the highest supply of dentists in Australia at 64.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) dentists per 100,000 people, followed by Inner regional areas at 42.2 FTE dentists per 100,000 people. The lowest supply was in remote areas (21.5 FTE per 100,000 people).