Reaching A Female Majority: A Silent Transition for Dentistry in the United Kingdom

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper highlights the process of transition to a female majority for dentistry, examines various influences on this trajectory, and considers the implications for the profession, health systems and patients, as well as individual dentists.This celebratory transition has been facilitated by educational systems that provide both males and females with equal opportunities and is supported by legislation, as well as societal change that has spanned decades. In crossing this gender representation threshold, we have outperformed doctors nationally.In order to embrace our highly educated workforce and support them to better serve their patients and the population, urgent debate and action aimed at reshaping current systems of dental care provision are required. In this regard, flexible working arrangements, together with reshaping professional leadership to better represent the workforce, as well as changes in terminology can all play their part; however, we will need careful discussions about how this might happen effectively.A collaborative effort between the dental profession and wider health systems is required to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone to flourish and contribute back to the profession and society. Our medical counterparts have been considering how healthcare should be shaped creatively, particularly in relation to working patterns, economic models and quality patient care: we need to catch up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalPrimary Dental Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • dentists
  • flexible working
  • Gender balance
  • person centred dentistry
  • specialists
  • systems design


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