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Dentists optimistic about future

Do you feel good about the future of dentistry? If the latest survey from the General Dental Council (GDC) is anything to go by, the answer will probably be ‘yes’. The organisation revealed that a lot of dental health professionals have a positive outlook about a great many aspects of the profession’s future. However, the results were far from overwhelming.

Enventure Research polled over 3,600 oral health professionals on the GDC’s behalf, and uncovered interesting results. Overall, more respondents felt positively about the future of dentistry, but the results were fairly evenly spread.

In total, 37 per cent of respondents felt good about the future of the profession. However, another 31 per cent were pessimistic. This seems very even, however there is a small victory to be had: 33 per cent of respondents to the same survey last year were pessimistic, so dental professionals seem to be feeling more positive.

In more specific areas of the industry, dentists felt better about certain things. For example, a much stronger majority of dental professionals were confident in the GDC’s regulation. Some 67 per cent of respondents said that they thought the industry body was regulating dentistry effectively, compared to 26 per cent who did not.

However, the researchers did find that dental professionals were more likely to feel good about the GDC when they had newly-qualified than if they were dental veterans with many years in the industry, possibly suggesting that the latter have more experience of when dental regulation does not go well.

Also, different posts within dental health held dissimilar views. For example, 81 per cent of dental hygienists were confident in the ability of the GDC. However, only 57 per cent of dental technicians felt the same way. It is not entirely clear why the different jobs answered this way.

It is clear that the issue is a complex one, and dentists hold a variety of differing views on the future of the profession. Some are positive, but the results of the GDC’s research shows that it is much more complicated than that.

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