The American Indian and Alaska Native Dentist Workforce in the United States

Authors: Elizabeth Mertz, PhD | Cynthia Wides, MA | Paul Gates, DDS, MBA

Topics: Diversity, Oral Health

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

December 6, 2016

Improving the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation’s dentists is critical in efforts to reduce disparities in access to care and health outcomes and to better address the oral health needs of an increasingly diverse US population. The American Indian/ Alaska Native (AI/AN) dentist workforce, in particular, is disproportionately small compared to the overall dentistry workforce.

This article describes the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) dentist workforce, examines the practice patterns of AI/AN dentists, and describes how these providers contribute to the oral health care of AI/AN and underserved populations.

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