A dentist’s workday is not a glamorous one, especially if you are a woman.
According to a new study, women have a harder time finding good dentists in their area.
Dental students can expect to earn up to $8 an hour in the city, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
But that doesn’t include the time that they spend at a desk, cleaning, and taking care of patients.
In an article published in the American Journal of Preventive Dentistry, Carrie K. McDaniel, PhD, and colleagues examined dental students’ earnings at four locations: the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo, as well as a number of other major dental schools in the state.
“The main finding was that women’s salaries are not high enough for them to be dentists,” said McDaniel.
While the study doesn’t address the exact reasons why female dentists may struggle to land the right position, McDaniel says that it could be because they have lower aspirations, less professional training, and more difficulty in finding the right place to practice.
McDaniel and her colleagues conducted the research with a sample of 573 students at the University College of Dentistry (UCD) in Buffalo, Buffalo Niagara Medical Center, the University University of Pennsylvania (UUP), and the Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
“Dentistry is a relatively young profession, with a low profile and very few graduates,” McDaniel said.
“We wanted to know if students who are new to the profession were also more likely to struggle to find the right jobs.”
The study found that women students were significantly more likely than men to have struggled to find a dental practice that they were passionate about, and that they had a lower likelihood of finding a dentist who was experienced and competent in their field.
The students also had lower levels of knowledge about the field and the profession.
At the University, women earned less than men, earning less than $4 an hour, on average, compared to $7 an hour for men.
Across the four dental schools, the students were more likely with a background in education and experience to earn less than the national average.
Overall, the study found a higher number of women than men were struggling to find dentists that they liked.
Despite the lower salaries for women, the number of graduates was also lower, indicating that graduates were still being hired for positions.
This suggests that women may not be getting a fair shake in the profession, as some schools and employers may feel the need to compensate for their lower salary.
However, McMartin says that the study is a reminder that women are still being discriminated against in the workforce, even in dentistry.
She added that the results of the study suggest that a greater focus on training in education, and a greater recognition of the importance of a good dentist, can make a dent in this discrimination.
Find out more about the study on the American College of Dental Surgeons website.
Read more about dentistry from Business Insider: The Truth About the Dentist Job Search