The most important thing about a dentist is the respect they receive for their work, a new report by researchers has concluded.
The research, which examined the careers of more than 200 dentists across the world, said they earn an average of $1.4m annually, with the majority working in the US.
“Dentists are considered to be among the best in the world,” said Professor Jonathan Meeks, a senior lecturer in public health at the University of Melbourne.
“They have a reputation as professionals who care for their patients, and in doing so they can do a tremendous amount for our health.”
The study, which is published in the Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health, surveyed over 200 dentistry students.
The students were asked to complete the ‘Dentistry Survey’ and provide their personal information, including whether they had previously worked in a salaried, public or private practice, and their occupation.
“The survey also asked students to provide the results of a self-assessment of their general dental health,” Dr Meeks said.
“Participants were asked a series of questions, including the number of years of practice, the number and type of patients they had treated, and the number, type and quality of oral hygiene products they had used.”
“Dental health is not a one-size-fits-all, so the students also answered questions about their own oral health and diet habits, which allowed us to assess their general health.”
Dr Meeks has previously told ABC News he believes dentists are among the most qualified in the workforce in the United States.
“I have a strong sense that the dental profession in the States is a strong contender for the best-performing profession in this country,” he said.
In the United Kingdom, dental school graduates earn an annual salary of about $130,000, according to the UK Dental Education Association (UDEA).
A recent report by the British Dental Federation (BDFA) found the profession has been hit by a decline in both graduates and graduates of the profession in recent years.
The decline in graduates of dentistry in the UK is a big problem, it said, pointing to a decline of 3.4% between 2013 and 2018, with a 2.8% fall in graduates in the last year.
Dr Mawks told the ABC he believes there is an underlying cultural issue at play in the U.S., with students from the US taking the profession less seriously.
“If you’re a student in the South East of the United.
you’re more likely to take it seriously, and you’re less likely to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be a dentist, I can do it’,” he said, adding that he has had to train students to get the right skills.”
It’s the culture of the US, and they need to make sure they’ve got their own set of standards of professionalism and competence.”
Dr James McKeown, a lecturer in dental education at the Australian National University, told ABC Radio Melbourne the research showed that the UDAE was right to be concerned.
“We need to look at the evidence, we need to have an open dialogue about it and then act,” he told the BBC.
“This has not been a good trend.
It’s a huge public health issue and it’s really important that we look at this, and see what we can do to ensure that it doesn’t continue.”ABC/wires