Dentistry Crisis in Rhode Island! An Open Letter from Rhode Island Dental Association President, Dr. Fred Hartman


Dentistry is in a crisis! But we can turn things around in Rhode Island if we work together!

An alarming 25% of dentists are over 65, while a total of 37% of dentists are over 60. This is extremely concerning.

Year after year, dentists will start to retire. It’s already a hard job, especially with shrinking margins. The chronically low reimbursement rates have also prevented us from attracting new dentists. It’s clear, we are on the precipice of a disaster.

The most unfortunate result of failing to attract new talent to the profession is that our youth population suffers the greatest harm. On average, 34 million hours of school time are missed because of oral health issues -the equivalent of 2 million school days. The loss of school time directly coincides with academic performance, and the children in lower income areas are hit the hardest.

Overall the biggest issue the dental community faces is the cost to provide services. They have rapidly increased over the years (especially post-Covid) while the allowances we receive are not considerate of the costs that it takes to provide those services.

Patients deserve more value, more accessibility, and more transparency.

We must act with immediacy to save dentistry in Rhode Island. The time for change is now!


Dr. Fred Hartman
President, Rhode Island Dental Association

115 Budlong Road
Cranston, RI 02920