In the past ten years, there has been a 44% rise in female dentists. Previously, this was a male dominated field, as was all higher aspects of medical science, but that is no longer the case. Many patients do not take a female dentist seriously though, and will feel alienated and strange if they have to sit in a chair before a woman. This article is for those patients, to let them see the benefits that a female dentist may have. To be clear, we at Forest and Ray do not believe in sexual discrimination and will continue to hire both male and female dentists, as a combination of both sexes has led to our success, and we will continue to be hiring dentists of both genders.
It seems that female dentists take prevention to heart more than their male counterparts. In a study made by PBRN Collaborative Group, they found that female dentists offered prevention tips much earlier on in the treatment than males, and also emphasised it more than their male counterparts.
When it comes to restorations and dental crowns and bridges, women tend to be much more conservative, making a smaller aesthetic shoulder and removing less tooth material on average in the process. This is a good thing, as the less is missing, the better.
In Western society, nurturing attitudes and a strong sense of empathy are traditionally thought of as “mothering”, and thus have been considered feminine for a long time. Perhaps this is why that same PBRN study found female dentists to be more empathic to their patients, and were more likely to think with the patient’s head and try and accommodate the patient than males.
Although I am weary of pinning physical characteristics to either gender, women do tend to, on average, have smaller hands. This does not mean that there are no male dentists with small hands, or women with large hands, as this is a phenomenon that we see every day. But the tendency is that women’s hands are smaller. Smaller hands create less anxiety in patients, and a dentist with smaller hands is more likely to be a favourite among patients, as patients find big hands intimidating.
Being attentive to other people’s needs is also a trait that our culture associates with femininity, and it is also a trait that is very welcome among dentists. You definitely want a dentist who can listen to what the problem is and deal with it, and make you feel good along the way, and it seems that women are better in that arena.
As a caveat, I want to add that these are all generalisations, and there are plenty of male dentists that have these characteristics, and female dentists that lack them.