Everyone wants clean teeth. That is a fact. Those with good looks can expect to make, on average, 10% to 15% more money over the course of their life than others. Without being consciously aware that they are doing it, people consistently assume that good-looking people are friendly, successful, and trustworthy. They also assume that unattractive people are unfriendly, unsuccessful, and dishonest. It pays to be good looking. And in a study of single men and women, nice teeth was found to be the most attractive thing. Seriously. Attractive people not only earn more but are seen as being more trustworthy, competent and healthy.
So if everybody wants those pearl whites, who gives the people what they want? Dentists. Dentistry as a whole is on the rise. Google Trends shows dentists on an upward trajectory.
Even the government agrees. On the Bureau of Labor Statistics website the outlook for dentists is very good. Uncle Sam states:
“Employment of dentists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.”
Think of all those white smiles.
Of course many people are worried what the impact of Obamacare on the dental industry will be, and for good reason. Obamacare, for good and bad, is remaking the medical industry as a whole and dentistry is not isolated from that. And while the effect of Obamacare on dentistry as a whole is unknown, it is theorized that it will increase the prevalent trend of dentists moving towards larger practices. This will make business relationships and dental recruiting even more important in the dental landscape.
It will also increase the demand for dentists. According to the ADA:
About 3 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of ACA. Roughly one-third will gain Medicaid dental coverage and two-thirds will gain private dental coverage through health insurance exchanges and employer-sponsored plans. Combined, this will reduce the number of children who lack dental benefits by approximately 55 percent.
This means that there will be 3 million more children who are going to be seeing a dentist. If the average dentist has 1,000 patients that means that with this one law alone, 3,000 more dentists will be needed in the US.
Also, nearly 18 million adults will gain some level of dental benefits from the Affordable Care Act, but only 4.5 million of these adults are expected to gain extensive dental benefits through Medicaid. An additional 800,000 are expected to gain private dental benefits through health insurance exchanges. Combined, about 5 percent fewer adults will be without dental benefits. These increases will put pressure on the Medicaid system by generating an additional 10.4 million dental visits each year through Medicaid by 2018. That is another 3,000 dentists that will be needed in the system in order to keep the supply and demand in check.
Whether people want a beautiful smile, or Obamacare helps them get healthy, dentists are going be in hide demand in the coming years.