Document Type : Original Article
Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Assistant Professor, Oral and Dental Diseases Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Professor, Modeling in Health Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Management and Leadership of Medical Education Research Center, Education Development Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Dental specialists have a fundamental role in the dental care system. In some countries, the number of dental specialists fulfills their workforce needs, whereas in developing countries, it does not. It is essential to plan for training professional workforce regarding the purpose of using specializations in developing programs of health sector. Although previous reports of Iran’s dental human resources are accessible, there are no published data on the prediction of this important issue in the future. This study aimed to estimate the country's need for dental specialists by 2025 and provide the possibility of appropriate planning to complete and administrate the specialized human workforce for senior managers.
METHODS: This study was done based on an explanatory mixed-methods design at three steps. Supply analysis phase, collecting the status quo data and the process of variations in the admission and supply of dental residents, was done. Need assessment phase, the demand for dental specialties, in both treatment and educational sectors in Iran by 2025, was conducted. Gap analysis phase, the estimated gap between supply and demand of specialized workforce, was calculated by 2025, and the shortage or surplus was obtained.
RESULTS: In the fields of orthodontics, pediatrics, maxillofacial surgery, prosthetics, and restorative dentistry, we will need 279, 292, 335, 216, and 229 specialists, respectively, by 2025. In endodontics, periodontics, and oral diseases specialists, we will reach almost the desired situation. In oral pathology and radiology, we will have 87 and 59 specialists more than the defined standards, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Using the results of estimating the required number of dental specialists by 2025, and considering the admission capacity of the country's universities, the national division of labor concerning training of specialized dentists needed for the coming years can be done.