Rural Dental Practice: A Tale of Four States (Full Report)


Reports the findings of a study investigating rural dentist issues, such as demography, training, practice characteristics, staff, and job satisfaction, in Alabama, California, Maine, and Missouri. Generally, dentists and their work patterns were similar across the four states. Dentist practices varied dramatically across states regarding staffing patterns. Vacancy rates for dental hygienists varied greatly from state to state, ranging from 35 percent to 6 percent, while dental assistant vacancy rates varied from 12 percent to 4 percent. Dentist Medicaid participation and volume differed widely across the states. The majority of dentists in the four states were satisfied with their professional life, but the percentage who felt they were too busy or not busy enough varied widely among the states.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Holly Andrilla, Denise Lishner, Gary Hart