In the first year of the Affordable Care Act, the average cost of a dentist’s practice went up by 6 percent, according to the American Dental Association.
That’s because a growing number of Americans with health problems are getting dental care in private practices, including in community-based dental programs.
That has led to a surge in the use of dental assistants who can work in offices for $25 per hour, or $30 per day.
As a result, there are fewer dental assistants to fill in the gaps and dentists are getting better at filling in gaps.
The trend has made it easier for people to get dental care at home, says Dr. Brian E. Jaffe, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
“Dental assistants are a good example of how things can happen,” he says.
Dentists have also been growing more efficient and have been able to lower costs, he says, thanks to technological innovations and better technology.
Many dentists say the change has been positive.
Dentistry has been on the rise in the U.S. Since the mid-1990s, the percentage of dentists in the workforce has more than doubled.
In 2016, the number of dentistry jobs nationwide reached nearly 1 million, the largest single-year increase since the 1940s, according the American Association of Dental Surgeons.
The American Dentist Association says dentists can now see a dentist in their office, which could mean more visits and fewer visits.
“It’s the first time I can remember that,” says James K. Ritter, president and chief executive officer of the American Dentist Association.
Dentist jobs are on the decline across the country.
In some states, such as Alabama, the total number of dental school graduates has fallen since 2008.
In 2017, dentists’ salaries fell, to $40,000 from $61,000, according from the National Association of State Boards of Dentistry.
In 2018, the median salary for a dental assistant was $24,000.
Denticare officials say the dentists have more choice, thanks in part to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
They have also found ways to keep people in the dental workforce, including by hiring more dental assistants, expanding services, and allowing them to choose to take on additional work.
The expansion of dental services, which are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, has allowed more people to have dental care without incurring additional out-of-pocket costs, according Sara B. Smith, a professor of dental medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The ACA has provided dental assistance to nearly half of all Americans.
But it has also led to some unintended consequences.
The ADA estimates that more than half of dentist assistants now work in a practice that has no dental insurance.
Dentologists and dentistry groups say the increase in the number who are dental assistants is a sign of rising demand, as more people seek care in their homes and offices.
Some dentists worry about rising costs and increasing workloads that are leaving dentists with fewer hours.
And dentists like Dr. Jaffar say they are also seeing an increase in infections, particularly when patients are coming in with chronic health conditions.
But Dr. Smith says the ACA has helped dentists and other health care workers.
She says the law has helped provide some teeth to people who otherwise would not have them.
“The ACA has done a lot of good for the public, but it’s been a good thing for some,” she says.
She sees the Affordable Health Care Act as a success.
She credits it for helping dentists expand their practice beyond what was previously possible.
“We have to be careful in how we look at this,” she said.
“Because the ACA didn’t come into effect until 2020, it has really helped to make dentistry more accessible to the general population.”