Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), 2012

HPSAs can be designated based on geographic areas, population groups, or facilities. For a geographic region to be deemed a dental HPSA, population to dental professional ratio must exceed 5,000:1 (4,000:1 in areas with unusually high need). Since 1990, the number of dentists in the United States has been roughly flat, about 150,000 to 160,000, while the population has risen about 22 percent.


The Numbers

Total Dental HPSA Designations:

Population Living in
a Dental HPSA:

Practitioners Needed
to Remove HPSA Designation:

US Dental school graduates/year:
4,443 (2003)

Retiring US dentists/year:
5,100 (2010)

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Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) Statistics, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), February 2012. Report available here.

Percentages calculated using 2010 population data from U.S. Census Bureau.
Data are as of February 1, 2012.