Thanks to GSK for inviting me to share my views on the future of dentistry in 2025 and beyond.
I thought I’d share a few interesting facts/predictions that I came across whilst researching…
- We will be treating a growing population – Over the next 20 years the population in England is predicted to grow by 8 million to just over 61 million.
- We will be treating an ageing population – Today almost 1 in 10 people are over 60 years old and by 2050 1 in 5 people will be over 60.
- We will be treating a population with increasing socio-economic inequalities – Men and women in the highest socio-economic class can, on average, expect to live just over seven years longer than those in the lowest socio-economic class, and more of those years will be disability free.
- We will be treating an increasingly diverse population – By 2031, ethnic populations will make up 15% of the population in England and 37% of the population in London.
- We will be treating less mild-moderate periodontitis, less caries but more tooth wear and more peri-implant disease.
- Patient demands and expectations will continue to increase and there will be a focus on value and impact on quality of life.
- Dental professionals will be working in multidisciplinary teams and promoting the importance of oral health for general health.
- There will be an increase in the number of dentists – every year, dental students graduate from 16 UK universities and since 2004 the number of graduates has increased by 36%.
- There will be an increase in the proportion of female dentists and those working part-time – In the last 5 years alone the percentage of female dentists has risen by 5% and, as over 50% of dental students are now female, this trend is set to continue
- The use of virtual reality will be integral to dental training. Google glass integrated with dental loupes may become a popular tool for dentists. Technology such as digital imagining, CAD/CAM, lasers and perhaps even robotics may be routinely used in practice.
- Materials will continue to evolve and bioactive materials as well as regenerative materials are exciting areas of development.
- The use of smart phones and social media will continue to grow for both dental professionals and patients.
Image credit: Gemma Bull