7 Reasons Why Dentistry Over Saturated in Canada


In recent years, the field of dentistry has undergone significant changes, prompting concerns among both established practitioners and aspiring professionals.

Increasing population and more dental graduates has led to general dentistry over saturated crisis.

This article aims to shed light on various aspects of the dental profession, drawing from personal experiences and industry-wide trends.

The 7 Reasons Why General Dentistry May Die Soon

Saturation and Market Forces

One of the foremost challenges facing dentistry today is the issue of oversaturation.

With an increasing number of dental graduates entering the workforce, the industry is witnessing a zero-sum race to the bottom.

Dental chains are rapidly acquiring retiring dentists’ practices, leading to heightened competition and lower reimbursement rates.

This phenomenon is exacerbated by a reluctance among older dentists to retire, contributing to an imbalanced supply-demand equation.

Furthermore, projections from the early 2000s that suggested a shortage of dentists have not materialized. Instead, the profession finds itself grappling with an excess of practitioners.

This oversupply is a multifaceted problem, with roots in both the influx of new graduates burdened by loans and the delay in retirement among senior dentists.

The Burden of Debt

For many recent dental graduates, the specter of student loan debt looms large. The financial implications of pursuing a career in dentistry have become more daunting, with interest accumulating at an alarming rate.

When contrasted with alternative medical professions, the disparity in initial earning potential becomes evident.

The extended educational timeline, coupled with the substantial debt load, necessitates a serious reconsideration of the economic viability of a career in dentistry.

Patient Relations and Ethical Considerations

Dentistry, once characterized by a more conservative approach to treatment, has evolved into a profession with increased emphasis on comprehensive care.

However, this shift has also brought about ethical dilemmas.

Practitioners may find themselves in the position of persuading patients to undergo procedures that may not be strictly necessary.

This reality underscores the need for practitioners to navigate a fine line between providing optimal care and avoiding undue pressure on patients.

This is why it is extremely essential to choose your dentist wisely.

Physical Demands and Job Satisfaction

The physical toll of a dental career is a legitimate concern.

Long hours spent hunched over patients, compounded by the repetitive nature of dental procedures, can lead to chronic physical discomfort.

This issue is particularly pertinent for established practitioners who have been in the field for several years.

Scope of Practice

While dentists play a crucial role in oral health, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of the profession.

Dentists primarily focus on dental health, with a scope of practice that does not extend to complex surgical procedures or broader reconstructive work.

Understanding and embracing this specialization is essential for maintaining professional satisfaction.

Impact of Insurance Companies

The influence of insurance companies on dental practices cannot be overstated. The dominance of certain providers can severely impact a practitioner’s ability to set reasonable fees for services.

This reality, coupled with diminishing reimbursement rates, further exacerbates the financial challenges faced by dentists.

Globalization and Licensing

A notable development in the field is the increasing acceptance of direct licensure for dentists trained in other countries.

This allows international practitioners to bring their skills and expertise to countries like Canada.

While this brings a diverse pool of talent to the profession, it also raises questions about standardization and adaptation to local practices and regulations.

How to keep general dentistry alive and thriving.

Embrace Technology with a Human Touch

Technology with Heart

The future of dentistry is interlaced with technology and cannot be taken for granted. Machines and gadgets are helpful, but they should never replace the compassion and understanding that dentists bring.

Dentists can combine their technical expertise with a warm, empathetic approach to ensure that patients feel cared for, not just treated.

Foster Trusting Patient-Provider Relationships

More Than a Check-Up

Open communication, active listening, and taking the time to understand a patient’s fears and concerns can make dental visits less intimidating. Patients should feel like they’re visiting a trusted friend, not just a healthcare provider.

Promote Preventive Care

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Prevention is at the heart of general dentistry’s survival. Encouraging regular check-ups and cleanings can stop problems before they become serious and costly.

Expand Access to Care

Dentistry for All

To save general dentistry, we must ensure that everyone can access dental care like: underserved communities, setting up affordable clinics, and offering pro bono services. The future of dentistry should be inclusive, with no one left behind.

Emphasize Comprehensive Care

Beyond Teeth and Gums

Dentists should look at the big picture of oral health. This means considering how dental health connects to overall health and collaborating with other healthcare professionals. A holistic approach ensures that patients receive well-rounded care.

Promote Ethical Practices

A Code of Ethics

Dentistry should uphold the highest ethical standards. Prioritizing well-being over profit, providing transparent information about treatment options and costs. Trust in the profession is vital for its continuance.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Lifelong Learning

To thrive in the future, dentists should be lifelong learners. They must keep up with evolving technologies, treatment methods, and healthcare regulations. Continuous education ensures that they remain competent and capable.

Engage with the Community

Dentists as Community Leaders

Dentists should engage with their communities. They can visit schools, participate in health fairs, and promote oral health awareness.

Inspire the Next Generation

Mentoring Future Dentists

To save general dentistry, experienced dentists can mentor and inspire the next generation. Sharing their knowledge, experiences, and passion for the profession can ensure a legacy of dedicated dental care providers.

Remember the Human Connection

The Heart of Dentistry

At the heart of all these changes, one thing remains constant – the human connection. Dentistry is about people helping people.

As long as we remember that, and as long as we put the well-being of our patients first, general dentistry will continue to thrive and serve as the bedrock of oral care for generations to come.


As the field of dentistry grapples with an evolving landscape, it is imperative for both current and aspiring professionals to consider the multifaceted challenges ahead.

While passion for the profession is commendable, it is equally crucial to approach it with a clear-eyed understanding of the economic and structural realities.

By acknowledging these issues, the dental community can work towards sustainable solutions that ensure the continued vitality and integrity of the field.

Are dental insurance changes affecting the quality of care I receive?

Dental insurance changes can impact dental practices, but most dentists prioritize patient care.

What should I look for in a dentist during this changing landscape of dentistry?

Look for a dentist who stays up-to-date with the latest technology and treatments, prioritizes patient comfort and experience, and communicates openly about treatment options and costs. Adaptability and a commitment to continuing education are also valuable traits.

How to know which is the best dentist in my area that is suited for my dental emergencies?

To receive the best care, choose a dentist who is actively engaged in professional development, has positive patient reviews, and uses modern technology. Open communication with your dentist about your concerns and expectations is crucial.

Are dental therapists and mid-level providers as qualified as traditional dentists?

Dental therapists and mid-level providers receive specific training to perform certain dental procedures. Even though they can provide valuable care, it’s important to understand their scope of practice and consult with a dentist for complex or specialized treatments.

Is teledentistry a viable option for routine dental care?

Teledentistry can be a useful tool for consultations and follow-up appointments, but it may not replace in-person visits for all dental needs. Its effectiveness depends on the specific dental issue and the dentist’s assessment.

How can I advocate for my dental health in this changing landscape?

Advocate for your dental health by maintaining regular dental check-ups, practicing good oral hygiene at home, and discussing any concerns or questions with your dentist. Staying informed and proactive about your dental care is key.


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