Category of Occupation
Size of the dental workforce in Australia
- In 2012, there were 19,462 dental practitioners registered in Australia.
- Three-quarters of these practitioners (14,687) were dentists.
- The number of employed dentists increased by 5.3%, from 12,599 in 2011 to 13,266 in 2012.
- There were 1,330 dentists working as specialists. Orthodontics was the most common specialty (518 dentists).
- In 2012, there were also 1,425 dental hygienists, 1,117 dental therapists, 1,100 dental prosthetists and 675 oral health therapists employed in their fields.
- Dentistry is a male dominated profession; however, the proportion of female dentists increased to 36.5% in 2012 from 35.2% in 2011.
- Employed dental therapists, dental hygienists and oral health therapists, were predominantly women (96.9, 94.6% and 84.7%, respectively).
- Dental prosthetists were much more likely to be men. Women made up 14.7% of this workforce, an increase from 13.9% in 2011.
- The average age of dentists employed in 2012 was 43.4 (the same as in 2011) and 23.4% were aged 55 and over.
- Employed dental prosthetists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and oral health therapists were aged 49.1, 46.4, 37.4 and 31.0, on average, respectively.
- Dentists worked, on average, 37.0 hours per week in 2012, a slight decrease from 2011 (37.3 hours per week). In 2012, 31.7% dentists worked part time (less than 35 hours per week).
- The majority of employed dentists were working in private practice (79.7% of clinicians and 77.3% of all dentists).
- Most specialists worked in private practice (75.0%) and in Major cities (89.1%).
- Major cities had more dentists per capita than other areas in 2012 at 64.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) dentists per 100,000 population, and more than the Australian rate of 56.9 FTE dentists.