Why Do Men Dominate the Dentistry Field?



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Why Do Men Dominate the Dentistry Field?
Why is it that whenever we go to the dentist we have a male doctor? It may seem like the only female employees working in the field of dentistry are the dental assistants or the receptionists. This may be perceived subconsciously for thought, but how many of us really notice the dominating force of the men in this profession? I can say that out of the three of four dentists I have had in my life, the only female hands that have touched my teeth are the assistants.

The US census bureau for the year 2000 has listed that only 17.9 percent of registered dentists in the entire United States are female. To better understand this percentage the total number of female dentists are 18,100 compared to the staggering 110,890 male dentists working. This is quite a drastic difference from male to female, and why is this? What is the reason for this difference, has this always been an issue or is this a current problem for the 21st century?

According to Women in Health Sciences.com, a survey was given to 1,100 Canadians questioning them about their experiences to the dentist. 42.3 percent of those questioned experienced anxiety for seeing the dentist. A rate of almost half of those who answered admitted to canceling appointments because of their anxiety. And nearly 60 percent questioned said that they felt uncomfortable having other people work in their mouth. (men and women?)

While I could find all sorts of information online about the many fears and anxieties documented by scientists, I thought it would be a good idea to conduct my own survey. A local spin on an expanding issue would be an interesting twist to the discussion. My ultimate goal was to survey 50 girls and ask them two questions, 1. Are you scared or feel anxiety going to the dentist? And 2. If so, why? The total number of participants were 39, and the majority said that they indeed felt anxiety making the trip to the dentist. A 76.4 percent rating that women indeed hated the dentist. How does this compare to men?

The second question had many answers written and many stories explained as to why they did not enjoy going to the dentist. Basically the answers told me that women were afraid that it may be painful and that they plainly were not comfortable with a stranger working inside their mouths. I found this quite intriguing because the results found here were comparable to the nation wide answers found in much more intense surveys. This only makes the local survey more stereotypical meaning that women in general don’t like going to the dentist so why would they want to become one? Men don’t like dentists either.

I don’t know ever recalling a little girl saying that they hope to one day become a dentist, that if they did it would fulfill their life. Do you recall lots of little boys saying that? I doubt it. Little girls want to ride ponies and play dress up one another. Boys are the ones growing up dreaming up being cops, doctors, firemen, even garbage men. Leave it to the guys to get their hands dirty and the girls to get pretty.

This is my personnal opinion as to why I think that there is a staggering dominance to the men and the women dentists. Everyone starts out as little kids who go to school and play all day and everyday. When we were little we had our little group of friends who played our little games at lunch, boys generally played in the dirt and girls generally sat in circles playing with their hair and taking about marriage. The girls never wanted to get their hands dirty and those who did were essentially one of the boys or basically labeled a “tom-boy”.

I think who we are now starts out when we are just seeds, little plants growing up and eventually blossoming into a work force flower. So by being planted in a certain fashion and agenda, we will essentially grow into what we have reaped. Adult women today generally don’t like being dirty and being stereotypically dressed. That is just how our society has looked upon females, pretty and clean. So one can understand why a woman wouldn’t want to stick her hands inside someone’s mouth and scrape plaque from somebody’s molar.

I was asking my good friend the other day that is female about how they felt about the lack of females in dentistry. She explained to me how boring it would be to have to sit there and work on somebody’s mouth and not even be able to talk to them while she was working. I got a laugh out of it but really began to think about what she was getting at and it made sense to me. The ladies enjoy talking to whoever will listen, again that is speaking generally. Yet another deterrent of why females aren’t becoming dentists.

As she and I conversed as to why she wouldn’t enjoy being a dentist she explained her hatred for not looking pretty. I laughed as she told me that she quote, “I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those ugly blue things!” This was referring from this statement to the mandatory scrubs given for all doctors to wear. I thought about this and it never really made sense to me but I concurred that the amount of money that one receives while being a dentist isn’t worth looking bad or even doing dirty work for females.



This must be the reason on the other side of this issue to the dominance of females to men in the hairstyling business. Think about it, hairstylists have every moment of their working day to converse about a new hair break through and the latest trends all while dressing cute and feeling comfortable. This is what directs women to this field and opposes many males to the industry. Hairstyling is not dirty it remotely clean, dentistry is bloody and can be very disgusting.

Men generally only care about the amount of money that they are making doing a job. This job can be anything as long as they are making a lot of money doing it. The dirty jobs are generally being filled by the male portion of this world and the female portion is doing all the pretty things. Now I know that this is certainly not every man or woman, but it is the only logical explanation as to why we have such an unbalance for registered dentists. Male dominance is in effect but may not be forever, the world keeps changing everyday and growing more populated each second. Who knows, maybe by the year 2050 we can find ourselves only being worked on by female dentists.


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