U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicated that there were 146,800 total dentists in the United States as of 2012. The majority of dentists were general dentists, comprising 125,800 of the total. Orthodontists were the largest specialty category, with 7,500 practicing.
There were 6,700 oral and maxillofacial surgeons as of 2012, according to the BLS. There were 6,400 dentists practicing in all other specialty areas and another 400 prosthodontists. Job growth is projected to be strong from 2012 to 2022, with a total of 170,200 dentists anticipated in 2022. These projected gains would result in a 16 percent growth rate. General dentists are projected to total 146,400 in 2022.