Oral Health Workforce 2016 Fact Sheet
The oral health workforce is critical to achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives focused on promoting and sustaining oral health for all Americans. Dentists and dental hygienists are licensed health professionals whose primary focus is dental disease prevention and oral health promotion and restoration. These professions are the foundation of the oral health workforce. Understanding the number, distribution and characteristics of dentists and dental hygienists can be useful to inform policy discussions related to oral health and access to dental care. Data on Indiana’s dentist and dental hygienist workforce are gathered through a voluntary survey administered by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA) in conjunction with biennial license renewal. This report includes information on 2,259 dentists (58.8% response rate) and 3,231 dental hygienists (65.3% response rate) who renewed their license in 2016 and that met inclusion criteria (briefly describe inclusion criteria in footnote). Additional information on inclusion and exclusion criteria can be found in the Data Report: 2016 Indiana Oral Health Licensure Survey. Although great strides have been made to advance oral health in recent years, there is more work to be done. Nationally, 35.6% of adults over the age of 18 did not see a dentist in 2014,2 and 26% of adults age 20 to 64 were found to have untreated decay.3 Closer to home, we find that Hoosier children also struggle with dental diseases. A survey administered by the Indiana State Department of Health in 2013 revealed that 51% of Indiana third graders had a history of dental decay and 17% had untreated dental decay at the time of the survey.