Changes in the Hours Worked per Week by Iowa Dentists, 1997-2013: Fourth Brief in a Series

Nguyen, M.; Reynolds, J.C.; McKernan, S.C.; Kuthy, R.A.


In this brief we examine changes in the work patterns of Iowa’s dentist workforce from 1997-2013. A nationwide 2010 survey of American Dental Association members found that dentists are working fewer hours than in the past; in 1990, dentists worked an average of 35 hours per week, whereas in 2000 and 2010 they worked 33 and 32 hours on average, respectively.1 A nationwide survey of new dentists in private practice found that the primary reason for practicing parttime was a desire to balance work and family.1,2 This trend in dentists working fewer hours, along with the aging of the dental workforce, contribute to concerns over possible dentist shortages.

The aim of this brief is to examine hours worked by Iowa dentists in relation to

their sex, age, practice activity, and practice location.