Minnesota Dentists Facts and Data 2005

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The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care asks dentists to answer questions about their employment status and the nature of their practices each year when they renew their licenses. Response to the survey is voluntary and does not affect license renewal.

Dental workforce data has previously been reported for “urban” and “rural” portions of the state. Urban has been defined to include seven Twin Cities metropolitan counties (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington) and the cities of Duluth, Rochester and St. Cloud. For 2005, data is also reported for three groupings that focuses greater attention on the 46 most rural counties:

  • MSA counties – 21 Minnesota counties included in seven metropolitan statistical areas (Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, Rochester, Duluth-Superior, Fargo, Grand Forks and La Crosse)
  • Micropolitan counties – 20 counties surrounding smaller urban centers of at least 10,000 people
  • Rural – 46 counties outside MSAs and Micropolitan areas. 

In data tables below, shaded columns are used to distinguish data reported under the old urban-rural definition from data reported under the new MSA-micropolitan-rural definition.

  Number of Dentists

In January 2006, there were 3,847 dentists with Minnesota licenses. Some of these were retired or not working as dentists, and many lived or practiced in other states.

Based on survey responses and licensing data from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care estimates approximately 2,950 dentist were practicing at least part time at Minnesota practice sites in early 2005. For explanation of this estimate, see the methodological note at the end of this report.

Using the July 1, 2005, population estimate for Minnesota, 2,950 dentists equate to 57 active dentists per 100,000 people.

All data reported below is for dentists who worked at least part time at a primary practice site in Minnesota, according to the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care survey of dentists renewing licenses for 2005.

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Geographic distribution of primary practice site  

  • Dental practices are mostly located in metropolitan areas and small cities and regional centers.
  • The 46 most rural counties have 13 percent of the state’s population, but only eight percent of the state’s practicing dentists.
2004 Population

Percent Population


Percent Dentists

Urban
3,015,421
58.6%
68.6%
Rural
2,129,685
41.%
31.4%
Statewide
5,145,106
100.0%
100.0%
Metropolitan counties
3,732,499
72.5%
78.5%
Micropolitan counties
752,857
14.6%
13.7%
Rural
659,750
12.8%
7.8%
The green shaded rows distinguish data reported under the old urban-rural definition from data reported under the new MSA-micropolitan-rural definition.

 


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Gender of dentists by age and location  

  • Only 20 percent of all dentists are female, but females account for nearly 40 percent of dentists under age 45.
  • Urban dentists are more likely to be female than are rural dentists.
  • Eighty-seven percent of female dentists practice in metropolitan areas and only 5 percent practice in the 46 most rural counties.
Age
Respondents
Male
Female
All dentists

2,446

79.9%

20.1%

Under 35

335

58.4%

41.6%

35-44

477

62.5%

37.5%

45-54

838

82.5%

17.5%

55-64

606

96.2%

3.8%

65 and older

190

98.4%

1.6%

Urban locations

1,679

77.0%

23.0%

Rural locations

767

86.2%

13.7%

Metropolitan

1,920

77.9%

22.1%

Micropolitan

334

86.5%

13.2%

Rural

192

88.5%

11.5%

The green shaded rows distinguish data reported under the old urban-rural definition from data reported under the new MSA-micropolitan-rural definition.

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Age of Dentists Active in Minnesota by Location  

  • Rural dentists tend to be older than urban dentists. The greatest difference appears when the median age (49) of dentists in metropolitan areas is compared to the median age (53) for the 46 most rural counties.
  • About one in three practicing dentists is 55 or older.
  • Nearly 40 percent of dentists in the most rural counties are 55 or older. Only 24 percent are under 45, compared to 34 percent of dentists in metropolitan areas.
Age Group

Statewide
n = 1.872
respondents

Urban
n = 1,287
respondents


Rural
n = 585

respondents

Metropolitan
n = 1,920
respondents

Micropolitan
n = 334
respondents

Rural
n =192
respondents

Median age

50

49

51

49

51

53

Less than 35

13.6%

14.5%

12.0%

14.3%

11.7%

11.5%

35-44

19.5%

20.4%

17.5%

20.1%

20.4%

12.0%

45-54

34.3%

34.1%

34.6%

34.1%

33.2%

38.0%

55-64

24.8%

22.9%

28.8%

23.7%

27.2%

31.3%

65 and older

7.8%

8.0%

7.2%

7.9%

7.5%

7.3%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

The green shaded columns distinguish data reported under the old urban-rural definition from data reported under the new MSA-micropolitan-rural definition.

chart Minnesota dentists' ages

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Dentist Specialties

  • Twenty percent of respondents reported training or board certification in a specialty area:
    • Orthodontics 5%
    • Oral and maxillo. surgery 4%
    • Endodontics 2%
    • Pediatric dentistry 2%
    • Prosthodontics 2%
    • Periodontics 2%
    • Other specialties 3%
  • Eighty-six percent of specialists were male
  • Eighty-five percent of specialists had primary practices in urban areas.

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Types of Practice Sites  

  • Eighty-nine percent of dentists work in private dental offices, about evenly split between solo and group practices.
  • Private practices account for 95 percent of dentists in the most rural counties, but rural dentists are much more likely to work in solo practices than group practices.
  • Males account for 87 percent of dentists in solo private practices.
  • Forty-seven percent of male dentists are in solo private practices, compared to only 29 percent of females. Female dentists are significantly less likely than males to be in solo practices in all parts of the state – metropolitan, micropolitan and rural areas.

Dentists active in Minnesota, primary practice settings by location

Practice Setting
Statewide
Urban
Rural

Metropolitan

Micropolitan
Rural
Total respondents
2,446
1,679
767
1,920
334
192
Solo private
43.6%
38.0%
55.8%
39.1%
51.8%
74.5%
Group private

45.5%

48.7%

38.5%

48.3%

43.1%

20.8%

Educational

4.1%

5.6%

.8%

5.1%

.3%

.5%

Clinic (non staff HMO)

.8%

1.0%

.5%

.9%

.6%

.5%

Hospital (acute care)

.4%

.6%

.1%

.5%

.3%

-0-

Institutional

.9%

1.0%

.8%

.9%

.9%

.5%

Public health facility

.8%

.7%

.95

.8%

.3%

1.0%

Staff model HMO

1.8%

2.6%

-0-

2.2%

-0-

-0-

Other

2.2%

2.0%

2.6%

2.1%

2.7%

2.1%

The green shaded columns distinguish data reported under the old urban-rural definition from data reported under the new MSA-micropolitan-rural definition.

Gender of dentists active in Minnesota, by practice settings

Practice Setting
Respondents
Male
Female
All sites

2,446

1,954

491

Solo private

1,066

86.5%

13.5%

Group private

1,112

75.8%

24.1%

Educational

100

81.0%

19.0%

Clinic (non staff HMO)

20

65.0%

35.0%

Hospital (acute care)

11

63.6%

36.4%

Institutional

22

86.4%

13.6%

Public health facility

19

52.6%

47.4%

Staff model HMO

43

67.4%

32.6%

Other

53

56.6%

43.4%

Primary practice settings by gender

Practice Setting
Male
Female
Respondents

1,954

491

Solo private

47.2%

29.3%

Group private

43.1%

54.6%

Educational

4.1%

3.9%

Clinic (non staff HMO)

.7%

1.4%

Hospital (acute care)

.4%

.8%

Institutional

.9%

.6%

Public health facility

.5%

1.8%

Staff model HMO

1.5%

2.9%

Other

1.5%

4.7%


Methodological note for numbers of dentists

Data reported here is from responses received from dentists renewing their licenses for 2005. Renewals were due January 1, 2005, so most dentists answered the survey in December 2004, or early 2005.

The Board of Dentistry received at least 3,695 license renewals for 2005. This estimate is based on the number of active licenses in effect January 1, 2006, minus new initial licenses and license reinstatements during 2005. The estimate is not precise because it may include some early renewals of licenses due for renewal in January 2006. The Board of Dentistry does not keep a count of the number of licenses renewed.

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care received survey responses from 3,066 dentists renewing their licenses for 2005. At the time of license renewal, 2,446 of these said they working at least part-time at a primary practice site in Minnesota.

The exact number of dentists actually practicing in Minnesota is not known. Survey respondents represented 83 percent of all dentists renewing licenses in 2005. If active Minnesota-based dentists responded to the survey at about the same rate as all dentists renewing their licenses, the estimated total number of dentists working at least part time in Minnesota would be about 2,950. If active Minnesota dentists were more likely to respond to the survey, the estimated number of active Minnesota dentists would be somewhat lower.

Using the July 1, 2005, population estimate for Minnesota, 2,950 dentists equate to 57 active dentists per 100,000 people.

Because of different data sources and definitions, this estimate of 57 active dentists is not directly comparable to other reported data. The Bureau of Health Professions in the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration reported that Minnesota had 3,522 practicing dentists in 2000, or 71 dentists per 100,000 people, exceeding the national number of 64. This federal data appears to include licensed dentists practicing in states other than the state in which licensed.

Click on the following to view:

Licensing survey raw data 2005 – comma delimited file

Licensing survey data dictionary 2005 – comma delimited file

Licensing survey questionnaire 2005 (PDF: 57 KB)

Updated Friday, 04-Oct-2013 13:35:55 CDT