Industry Trends: Women Joining Dentistry at Rising Rates

February 28, 2022

More women are joining the dental profession than ever before, significantly impacting a traditionally male-dominated industry. According to recent statistics, "Just a decade ago, about 24% of all dentists were women. Now that figure is closer to 35%, and the number of women graduating from dental school nearly equals men."1 Organizations like the American Association of Women Dentists, which promote the advancement of women in dentistry, are also gaining prominence in recent years. Moreover, the last two presidents of the American Dental Association were women, further showcasing women's rise in the dental industry.

At Operation Dental, we are proud to uphold a corporate culture that supports and uplifts our female dentists. With more women becoming mentors and taking on leadership roles in the dental industry, we can look forward to future generations inspired and encouraged to follow their career goals, regardless of traditional gender barriers. We interviewed two of our dentists, Dr. Adele Mirbey-Stallard and Dr. Daniela Alvarez, to hear their take on the recent statistics. Read below for their answers!

  1. Why do you think women are being pulled to dentistry?

    Dr. Mirbey-Stallard: Dentistry is a diverse field in the medical industry. It allows women to use their knowledge, critical thinking, analysis skills, and dexterity through their hands and allows them to have a personal life. In other words, the work/life balance is respected in this field. What I love about dentistry is that I can choose my own schedule. I can decide how much or how little I want to work and how much time I want to spend with my friends and family.

    Dr. Alvarez: I believe dentistry has become so appealing to women as it is a profession that allows you to be elevated to the highest degree, practicing medicine and being a business owner, while still allowing for a life outside of work.

  2. How does it feel to be a successful female dentist in a traditionally male-dominated industry?

    Dr. Adele Mirbey-Stallard: It makes me feel powerful and independent! Being married to my husband, who's also a dentist, I feel honored to be able to bring home a contribution to the family's earnings.

    Dr. Alvarez: It's gratifying to know you are recognized as being equal to or better than your male counterparts and judged by skill and not gender.

  3. What advice would you give to young girls interested in becoming a dentist one day?

    Dr. Adele Mirbey-Stallard: You have to enjoy going to work every day. After all, that's what the saying says: you'll never work a day in your life if you do what you love. I feel that dentistry provides this for myself and much more. This profession is very gratifying, not only because we can put a smile on a patient's face, but also from a career standpoint and the pride that I take each day in accomplishing what seems to be "miracles" for my patients. As a woman, it is important to have a career in the 21st century as you never know what obstacles life will bring you. If you have a stable career, you are more likely to land on your feet if something were ever to go wrong.

    Dr. Alvarez: My advice is to keep going forward, keep showing up, and keep breaking glass ceilings.

    If you’re a female dentist looking for an opportunity that supports and balances your personal, professional, and financial goals, contact us today by clicking this link: https://www.operationdental.com/contact/.

    1https://www.ada.org/publications/ada-news/2021/march/women-make-up-growing-percentage-of-dental-workforce

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