The aim of the present investigation was to describe the distribution, structure and allocation of oral health services personnel, evaluate oral health service capacity and predict the needs for oral health services in northern China over the coming 10 years.
The questionnaires were sent to all the dental medical institutions included in this study directly from the Sanitation Bureau and the Health Supervision Station. All the institutions and dental personnel were asked to fill out the questionnaires, and then, the questionnaires were collected through postal service and email.
In Liaoning Province, which is in northern China, there are a total of 5617 dentists in total, 87.8% of whom are located in urban areas. Dentists in rural areas were found to be less educated and specialized. The ratio of dentists to nurses to technicians was about 6:2:1, and the ratio of dentists to total population was 1:7682. It was predicted that, in 2020, the number of dentists could reach 13 207. This would meet the area’s needs for oral health services.
Currently, in northern China, the oral health infrastructure suffers from an insufficient number of dental professionals, disproportionate distribution and inappropriate structure. To improve social equity, it is necessary to adjust the distribution of dental personnel capable of performing for oral health services.