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ADA News (Newspaper) - May 12, 1980, Chicago, Illinois AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION NEWS MAY 1980 Dentist oversupply in offing US report supply of dentists in 1990 is expected to be more than adequate to meet the nations overall the Department of Health and Human Services formerly HEW said in a report to Congress and the There already may be an oversupply of the report The gap between the number of den needed and available will continue to widen throughout the 1980s in there will be an oversupply of nearly according to the Increases in supply over the past decade have been due primarily to the rom federal it Its release comes as Congress con ducts health manpower Exist ing dental and other health manpower legislative authorities expire Sept The report on the status of health pro fessions personnel is the second in a series of reports required by the Health Professions Educational Assistance Act of It said the number of active dentists increased 19 from 1970 to to projected that nearly dentists will be needed in the 1990 supply will ex ceed the report This projection assumes a increase in dental productivity result ing from more effective employment of aides and from technological ad Other health professions have an ample supply of practitioners as said the report from an Administration trying to cut funds for the training of health The physician supply increased more than 17 during the 197078 period and probably will be adequate in the 1980s to meet the nations needs and could actually exceed said the government About dentists will be re quired in the report The supply is expected to be more than adequate to meet the nations overall The report assumes that dentists will continue to heighten productivity though employment of dental aux The dental supply predictions do not assume that a national health insurance plan will be in There appears to be great uncer tainty about the extent to which dental services would be covered under na tional health said a footnote to the For the purposes of this analysis a single possibility was namely that dental reimbursement would be con fined to services for children under age 14 and that enrollees would pay 25 of incurred Under such require ments for dentists in 1985 would in crease about 30 above the 1985 baseline If NHI were not effec tive until a plan with these provi sions would boost requirements about Continued on Page Three COMPARISON OF SUPPLY AND REQUIREMENTS FOR HEALTH MANPOWER 1975 supply and projections for and 1990 In thousands In active Estimated requirement assumes a 1 annual productivity GOVERNMENT STUDY PREDICTIONS Dentist population will increase through 1995 Number of graduates will plateau in 1982 Dentists work week will lengthen Fewer duties will be delegated to auxiliaries new government study that speaks of an oversupply of dentists has a statistical base similar to that in an earlier HEW study of the dental Last the HEW bureau of health manpower predicted that competition among dentists during the next 15 years will increase because of improved tech marketing prac tices such as and a growing supply of To accommodate these and other market the average dentist will work longer hours each week and will tend to substitute his own time for that of dental the report The employment forecasts were based on a model of the dental care market de by Policy of with funds from HEWs division of Its predictions are based on expected employment levels of dentists and dental rates of economic and popu lation and the growth of dental prepayment The effect of certain other factors like future employment levels of expanded function dental auxiliaries and the inclusion of dental benefits in any na tional health insurance plan was not cal the report said it was un likely dental benefits would be part of any national health What is likely is that the costs of using auxiliaries will increase and that dentists will gradually substitute theft own time for that of Although the average use of aux per dentist is expected to de their aggregate employment should remain An increase in dentists work the average work week will increase about 6 over the conjunc tion with productivity increases will allow an expansion of dental services to meet growing the report pre Dentists will be able to maintain growth in their real incomes at a rate roughly in line with overall economic it Demand for dental services will in crease due to continued population and economic growth and the spread of dental A steadily increasing population ratio is rising from dentists for each persons to in HEW projections of Number of Dental Total Stock of and 19801995 of New Stock of per Population all In active practice and
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