Are you interested in becoming a dentist, but unsure about how much you can expect to earn? Or perhaps you’re just curious about the earning potential of this profession? Whatever your reason, this article will provide you with comprehensive information about how much dentists make.
Dentist Salaries by Region
One of the biggest factors that influences dentist salaries is their location. Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries for dentists in different regions:
Dentists on the West Coast earn the highest salaries, with an average of $217,000 per year. This region includes states such as California, Oregon, and Washington.
- The high cost of living in these states can also affect the amount of money dentists need to make in order to maintain a desirable standard of living.
- It’s worth noting, however, that not all dentists in this region earn equally high salaries. Factors such as experience, specialty, and type of workplace (private practice vs. hospital or academic setting) can also influence earnings.
After the West Coast, the Southwest region has the highest dentist salaries, with an average of $201,000 per year. This region includes states such as Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
- Like the West Coast, the cost of living in some of these states can be relatively high, which contributes to the high dental salaries in the region.
- Dentists who choose to work in metropolitan areas within the Southwest region will typically earn higher salaries than those who work in rural areas.
The Mid-Atlantic region, which includes states such as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, has an average dentist salary of $196,000 per year.
- The high concentration of people in this region, especially in urban areas, means there is a steady stream of patients in need of dental services.
- While the cost of living in some areas of the Mid-Atlantic is relatively high, it’s not as high as in some West Coast states, which reflects in the slightly lower salaries.
Dentists in the Midwest region, which includes states such as Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, earn an average of $187,000 per year.
- The cost of living in the Midwest region tends to be lower than that of other regions; therefore, this contributes to a slightly lower salary.
- While salaries are lower than those on the West Coast and Southwest, the Midwest offers a range of affordable living options and other perks such as the opportunity to own a larger practice or have more personal time.
The Southeast region, which includes states such as Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, has an average dentist salary of $184,000 per year.
- The cost of living in the Southeast is lower than that of the West Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, but it varies depending on the state and city.
- Dentists in rural areas of the Southeast may earn less than their counterparts in urban areas due to the lower concentration of patients.
Dentist salaries in the New England region, which includes states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont, average at $166,000 per year.
- The cost of living in New England can be high in certain cities, such as Boston, but it’s relatively lower in other areas.
- This region has a higher concentration of academic institutions and hospitals, which can affect the type of work that dentists are doing and therefore affect earnings.
Dentist Salaries by Specialty
Another factor that impacts dentist salaries is their specialty. Here are the average salaries for some common dental specialties:
|Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon||$242,740|
Orthodontists are the highest-paid dental specialty, with an average salary of $228,780. These dentists specialize in the diagnosis and correction of dental and facial irregularities.
- Orthodontists usually earn more than general dentists because their work is more specialized and requires additional training and certifications.
- Orthodontic care is also generally more expensive than general dental care, which can contribute to higher salaries for orthodontists.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are the second-highest paid specialty, with an average salary of $242,740. These specialists perform surgery on the mouth and jaw and can also treat other conditions such as facial trauma and misaligned jaws.
- Like orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons require additional training beyond that of general dentists, which contributes to higher salaries.
- These specialists work in both private practices and hospitals and are in high demand due to the complexity of their work.
Periodontists specialize in the treatment of gums and bone supporting teeth. They earn an average of $208,000 per year.
- Periodontists require additional certification and training beyond general dentistry.
- They work in both general dental practices and also in specialized practices, sometimes affiliated with hospitals.
Endodontists specialize in treating the tissues inside the teeth. They earn an average of $201,000 per year.
- Like periodontists, endodontists require additional certification and training beyond general dentistry.
- These specialists work in both general dental practices and also in specialized practices, sometimes affiliated with hospitals.
Pediatric dentists focus on the care of children’s teeth and earn an average of $172,000 per year.
- Working with children requires a different set of skills than working with adults, so pediatric dentists often undergo specialized training and certification beyond that of general dentists.
- These dentists work in both private practices and hospitals and clinics that specialize in pediatric care.
General dentists perform routine dental care such as cleanings and checkups, and can also provide other services such as fillings and extractions. They earn an average of $151,440 per year.
- General dentists need to have a solid foundation in all aspects of dentistry, but they don’t require additional certification or training beyond that of dental school.
- Most dentists are general dentists, and they can work in a variety of settings including private practices, hospitals, and clinics.
Factors that Affect Dentist Salaries
While geographic and specialty factors are important considerations, there are many other factors that can affect dentist salaries. Here are some additional factors to keep in mind:
- Experience: Dentists with more experience generally earn higher salaries. This is because they have developed a reputation and a patient base that allows them to command higher fees.
- Type of practice: The type of practice can also affect dentist salaries. Dentists who own their own private practices, as opposed to working in hospitals or clinics, tend to earn more.
- Hours worked: Like most professions, dentists who work longer hours or take on more patients tend to earn more money.
- Benefits: Some employers offer benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. These benefits can add significant value to a dentist’s overall compensation package.
- Location within a region: Even within a specific region, the location of a dentist’s practice can affect salaries. Dentists who work in metropolitan areas generally earn more than those who work in rural areas.
The Bottom Line
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much dentists make. Salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, including geography, specialty, experience, and workplace. However, by understanding these factors and doing your research, you can get a better sense of what you can expect to earn as a dentist.
Common Questions and Answers
- What is the average salary of a dentist? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for dentists is $185,150.
- How much do dentists make a year? Dentist salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as geography and specialty, but the average annual salary for dentists is around $185,150.
- Do dentists make a lot of money? Compared to many other professions, dentists do earn relatively high salaries. However, salaries can vary widely depending on a number of factors, so it’s important to do your research and understand what goes into determining dentist salaries.
- What is the highest-paid dental specialty? Orthodontists are the highest-paid dental specialty, with an average salary of $228,780 per year.
- Do dentists earn more than doctors? Dentists and doctors both earn high salaries, but these salaries can vary widely depending on specialty and location. Generally speaking, doctors tend to earn more than dentists, but this isn’t always the case.
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics
- American Dental Education Association
- Health Workforce Information Center