Gender and Chair-Side Manner

post your comments about male and female dentists to our blog. Read the gender and dentistry survey press release.

83% of dentists report gender has nothing to do with itIn this poll, we asked dentists: Are female dentists more caring and nurturing with their patients than male dentists?

Four out of five dentists don't think so. Over eighty percent responded, "No – some dentists are more caring than others; gender has nothing to do with it." Only 17% replied, "Yes – in general, female dentists are more caring than male dentists."

Read the dentists' comments

Rural dentists were most likely to buck the trend and vote "Yes." Female dentists were also more likely than male dentists to find women
to be more caring dentists. 

Rural dentists were significantly more likely to feel that women are more caring and nurturing dentists – three to four times more likely than urban or suburban dentists, in fact.

This may suggest that rural dentists have more traditional views of gender roles than those in more urban or suburban locales. Of course, one can never be sure – perhaps the city folk are just more hesitant to voice opinions that may not seem politically correct.


Women were also significantly more likely to vote "Yes" when asked if female dentists were more caring and nurturing with their patients.

Nonetheless, the majority of women did not feel that gender played a role in the quality of a dentist's chair-side manner.



Specialists also seemed to be somewhat more likely to find female dentists to be more caring and nurturing.


For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

Most felt gender didn't particularly matter.

  • I have worked many years in the dental field which have included both female and male dentists, and I have found that gender does not play a role in patient caring. (Idaho, female orthodontist)
  • The most gentle dentist I knew was a female, but the least gentle and caring one I knew was also a female. (Pennsylvania, male)
  • Caring is a learned trait. (Tennessee, female)

Some felt women had a more caring touch.

  • Having employed 6 female dentists over the years I can say from experience that women can be just as rough and insensitive as men. (Missouri, male)
  • Caring personalities will come through whether male or female, but in general women are more caring then men. More important, women are generally better listeners, and that comes through to the patient as caring. (Illinois, male)

Female dentists were criticized by some.

  • Some of the "testiest" dentists I have heard of from patients have been women. (North Dakota, female)
  • Most women dentists are more unreasonable!! (Illinois, male)
  • The problem I have with female dentists is that they generally work far fewer hours and far fewer years than their male counterparts. As far as I'm concerned, they have simply wasted a slot in dental school. What's the good of any so-called "caring" advantage if they don't practice dentistry? (Mississippi, male)

A few weren't sure we should even have asked the question in the first place.

  • Careful, don't create a gender war! (Kansas, male)
  • Why not ask the patients…I understand you like to create discussions, but it adds very little to your reputation, and undermines the confidence and respect you would like from your audience. (North Carolina, male oral surgeon)

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