Disparity Exists in Dental Care in Taiwan

People in rural locations often have more difficulty receiving dental treatment. That trend is happening at an alarming rate in Taiwan.

There are 13,000 dentists in Taiwan, with 2,800 practicing in Taipei. At the same time, there are 43 of 368 villages in the country that don't have a dentist.

The reason for this problem is simple: most dentists opt to stay in the more heavily populated areas. Roughly 20 percent of all dentists in the country are in Taipei.

A dentist in a rural area would have a disproportionate number of dentists when compared to a dentist in a more urban area.

Exacerbating the issue in the country is the fact that there are no age laws regarding retirement, so a dentist can work well into his or her 70s if he or she chooses to do so. The numbers indicate that roughly 300 dentists graduate from dental school each year while only 100 dentists retire. The impact could lower the quality of care in the sought-after urban dental practices.

The research also shows that more people in the country that are interested in a medical career are choosing dental school over medical schools because of the stabilized income, among other reasons.