In 2008, there were 141,900 licensed dentists in the United States and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects this number to grow due to the increasing demand for dental and medical care that dentists can provide.
The demand is in part due to the aging of the “baby-boomer” generation and these individuals’ need for dental work.
Maintaining a high level of dental care is important as people grow older because premature tooth loss can be unsightly and have a negative effect on speech.
Services that dentists who treat baby boomers may likely provide gum surgery to prevent disease, crowns and bridges for missing teeth and whitening procedures to reverse discoloration caused by years of acid erosion.
More dental professionals could also have a positive effect on the country's security.
In cases of natural disasters or terrorist attacks, the newly introduced Dental Emergency Responder Act (DERA) will rely upon dentists’ education and training to improve the nation’s first-response infrastructure.
Since dentists receive full medical training as doctors, their expertise may help attend to and treat wounded individuals in the case of a national emergency.
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