Growing up we are always told that a visit to the dentist should happen once every six months. Most of us manage to go about once every two years, and it is generally because there is a problem, not because we are so diligent that we just want to get checked out. It is not very responsible, but it is the way that we are wired, the truth is of course that visits to the dentist are not regarded as pleasurable or enjoyable. Regardless of this, dentists are very much part of our lives and our lived experience and we all think we know a lot about them. But do we? Here are five things you probably didn’t know about dentists.
It is a big industry
Dentistry is a huge industry with lots of parts and components contributing to massive annual revenues. Naturally there are the dentists, hygienists and orthodontists themselves, but then there are dental equipment suppliers, dental product suppliers and parts manufacturers who all contribute. A recent estimate by a leading statistics and economic website suggested that in 2021 the total dentistry related turnover globally would be in the region of 37 billion US dollars. That’s a lot of money!
Don’t worry, be happy
Statistics show that dentists are the most likely profession to commit suicide. It is sad but true so spare a thought for your dentist when you next go to see him. Make sure he knows that he is appreciated and valued. It must be very hard to feel like nobody wants to see you and those who are brave enough to make an appointment are probably doing so with dread in their hearts.
People don’t listen
We have already touched on the fact that people tend not to visit the dentist as often as they should. Another study recently showed that while dental experts recommend that teeth be brushed for a minimum of three minutes a day that most people brush, in total for less than a minute. It is no wonder then that people’s teeth get into a bad state. In fact, if the dentist’s advice was taken then it would be a whole lot less daunting going for a check-up in the first place.
If you are looking to set yourself up as a dentist and you are looking for a place where there is a gap in the market, then don’t go to Greece. A recent global dental census showed that with close to 100 dentists per 100 000 population that the best ratio of dentists to citizens was Greece. It was closely followed by Iceland and Norway in the silver and bronze medal positions. On the flip side, in the developing world there is a huge demand for dentists with the World Health Organization claiming on their website that 93% of all member states have a ratio of less than one dentist per 1000 population. African countries and China are singled out with China reportedly having just 100 dentists per million people, a ratio ten times worse than Greece.