Posted June 04, 2018 07:15:31 It may sound like a crazy idea, but Australia has a shortage of dental assistants.
And that’s not good news for a sector that is expected to see a big jump in demand over the next two years.
Australian dental assistant training courses are on track to exceed 300,000 students by 2021, according to the University of New South Wales, which is one of Australia’s leading medical schools.
But for the profession, that growth is going to come with a huge financial hit, with the annual cost of a dental assistant course now expected to be between $6,000 and $8,000, according a report by the Australia Council of Dentistry.
The report found that while the dental profession is booming, it’s also facing a steep fall in demand.
“We have an enormous shortage of dentists,” Dr Michael Schmitt, chair of the Australian Dental Association, said.
Dentists are expected to need between 2,400 and 2,800 students this year, while the total number of graduates is expected fall from about 7,000 to 6,500.
Dr Schmitt said it was critical that the dental industry got the job done, so that it could continue to provide dental services to people for free.
He said he hoped dental assistants would soon be paid for their work.
Some of the reasons for the shortage are obvious.
Many of the dentists in the country are not fully trained and are expected be able to deliver services to a wider range of clients.
Another issue is that the number of dental schools is shrinking.
The Australian Dical Association estimates there are fewer than 100 dental schools in the nation.
In some states, like Western Australia, there is no dental school at all.
According to Dr Schmitt and other dental associations, the problem is compounded by a shortage in the supply of dentistry equipment.
While many of the equipment manufacturers and suppliers are located in the US, some of the supplies can only be sourced locally.
And there is also the cost of training students to work in dental clinics.
There are currently more than 200,000 people enrolled in dental school programs across Australia.
As well as the cost, many of those students have limited English skills.
This is compounded because dentists are trained to provide care to the elderly and people with disabilities.
One in three Australian dental assistants do not have a basic dental degree.
That means many dentists don’t have access to the latest technology or have to rely on local dental clinics, which can often be unreliable.
It’s a serious shortage, and the dentist profession is already struggling to get its act together.
Professor of Dentology Dr James Rainsford said the shortage in dental assistants is due to many factors.
For one, the majority of dental graduates are not currently working as dental assistants in the same community, and many are moving to Australia’s cities.
Many of the dental schools are also not teaching the skills required for dental assistants, like oral hygiene, oral hygiene skills and dental hygiene.
Even in Australia, many states have introduced “surgical assistants” programs that offer training to dental assistants that could be paid.
So it’s a real problem that the profession is facing in terms of training.
But Dr Rainsfield said it’s not just dentists, and that there is an urgent need for more dental assistants trained in the Australian dental profession.
We need dental assistants to help us make dental appointments, provide dental health advice and do other important work that are not yet being done, he said.
“So we need dental technicians that are able to help the dental professionals to make the best dentistry care possible.”
Dr Rainsland said the industry was also facing the threat of a lack of dental technicians because there were not enough dental students.
When the dental school supply shortage is high, there are a lot of people who want to get into the profession and don’t necessarily have the skills, and if we don’t develop the dental skills in the dental workforce then it’s really a problem.
That’s why there’s been a huge increase in the number and diversity of dental assistant positions in the past few years, he added.
Currently, the number in Australia of dental school graduates is roughly equal to the population of the United States.
However, as the dental supply and demand increases, it will require more dentists to meet that demand.
“The challenge will be to provide more dental education, more dental training, and we’ll need more dental technicians to meet the demand,” he said