Celebrating women’s history, women in dentistry, and the women of Romeoville Dental Center, a place and a profession where women shine.
Is it a coincidence that March is not only Women’s History Month, but also the month when we celebrate National Dentist Day (March 6), Dental Assistants Week (March 7-13), and get ready for Dental Hygienist Week coming up April 7-14? We think maybe not. There have been women in dentistry in the United States since 1855, and they’ve been at the foundation of our success here in Romeoville since the very beginning.
Women in Dentistry by the Numbers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of January 2021, there are more than 170,000 dentists in the United States (US), of which just a little under a third are women. That’s down a little from a few years ago when women made up a little over a third of the population of dentists in the U.S.
In our office, the stats are just a little different. proud to have two amazing woman dentists serving patients, so we’re beating that national average by 100 percent!
Elsewhere in the dental office, women make up a whopping 98 percent of the 150,000+ dental hygienists in the U.S., and 94 percent of the 330,00+ dental assistants. We’re on-trend here, with women making up 100% of our hygienists and assistants.
What About Men in Dentistry?
The success and extent of women in dentistry is no mystery. We see powerful reasons all day every day in the dentists, hygienists, and assistants here in Romeoville. We witness firsthand their nurturing nature, comfort with children, good humor, patience and care for others, and the ability to simultaneously focus and multitask make our patients feel welcome, safe, and at ease.
But those characteristics aren’t unique to women, so we do find it curious that so few men choose the profession of dental hygienist or dental assistant. In the comparable field of nursing, about 12 percent of the more than 3 million registered nurses and nurse practitioners in the U.S. are male, according to that same U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. That proportion has been increasing steadily for years.
We can’t help but wonder, is there a reason we’re not seeing a similar effect in the dentist’s office? Is it because there are so few men in these roles that it doesn’t feel like an option for boys? If that’s the case, is that also why the percentage of women dentists is slow to change? If so, we hope that our Romeoville office is a better source of inspiration, at least in terms of interest in being a dentist.
Choose to Challenge: International Women’s Day and Women in Dentistry
Earlier this month, International Women’s Day promoted a #ChooseToChallenge campaign, affirming, “we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
We believe that the strength and history of women in dentistry is a shining example of women’s achievements to celebrate. We also think inclusive means inclusive in all directions, so boys, come on in and ask us what it takes to be a dental hygienist or a dental assistant! We’d love to inspire more boys and men to join our ranks.
We’ve already introduced you to our dentists, Dr. Nina Arora, Dr. Saba Sheikh, and Dr. Umang Patel. Later this month we’ll start to introduce you to the rest of the staff, so watch for more insight from our hygienists and assistants coming soon.
We hope you know you don’t have to wait for your appointment to ask us questions. You can contact us anytime, and we’d be happy to discuss it with you on the phone.
To schedule your visit now, fill out this form, or call our office at 815-886-0875.