Dentists treat the teeth, gums and other part of the mouth. They will also provide instructions on how to maintain a healthy diet and clean your mouth properly to avoid disease, tooth decay and other issues that will impact your overall health. Dentists may form partnerships with other dentists or form their own business. They will often hire on staff such as hygienists orassociates to assist them with the day to day procedures within the office.
The dentist average salarywill largely depend on the size of the office and the type of procedures the dentist is trained to take on. Smaller practices may not be able to afford larger scanners, computer technology or x-ray machines, so they will need to refer patients to other offices if they need a procedure that involves these machines.
The salary for a dentist is quite high, which is generally tied to the amount of education necessary to enter into the field. You will need to earn a bachelor’s degree, though there is no specific major required for this portion of your education. Should your grades and the scores on your Dental Acceptance Test meet the necessary requirements you will then be able to attend dental school. The specific curriculum and requirements here will vary based on location. In general you will be expected to learn how to apply anesthesia, the anatomy of the body, the function of oral disease and how to perform basic dental procedures. You must also choose a specialty that can be applied to your practice.
Once you have graduated from dental school you will need to pass the licensing exams for your state. This process will include a practical and written examination. You must also spend two years working in your specialized field. This may require you to take an additional examination to apply this specialization to your own practice.
Dentist Average Salary
The dentist average salaryis $161,750 but this figure may not represent the salary you can earn should you enter into this field. Factors such as location and the type of office you seek employment with will have a distinct impact on the amount you can earn working as a dentist.
Dentist Salary Factors and Influences
There are currently around 90,950 people working as a dentist in the United States. The salary for a dentist sits around $49.08 per hour, but there are a number of factors that will impact this average. One of the top things to consider when determining what you are likely to make is looking at what type of office you are likely to wind up working in when you join the field. Note the top paying industries that hire dentists:
Dentist Office Average Salary: $164,780
Other Health Practitioner Average Salary: $159,620
Employment Services Average Salary: $148,710
State Government Average Salary: $147,340
Ambulatory Health Care Services Average Salary: $146,810
The more responsibility you are willing to take on within your profession, the more likely you are to make while on the job. One of the main benefits of becoming a dentist is that you will have more room to take control of your career. You can work with other dentists or strike out on your own to establish a practice. Those that are able to do this will be in control of their hourly wage and their overall earnings.
Of course, the key to the salary of a dentist in a given office will largely depend on the competition in a given area. Note theaverage salary for a dentistin highly concentrated areas compared to the average salary nationwide.
Brockton-Bridgewater, MA Average Salary: $176,370
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL Average Salary: $142,920
Hot Springs, AR Average Salary: $137,870
Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA Average Salary: $134,870
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL Average Salary: $86,230
Idaho Falls, ID Average Salary: $212,900
Dubuque, IA Average Salary: $225,870
Hanford-Corcoran, CA Average Salary: $212,170
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Average Salary: $127,280
Flint, MI Average Salary: $193,460
As you can see, the dentist average salaryvaries greatly in different parts of the country. The concentration of dentists in an area will still allow you to make a high wage, in many cases a wage that is higher than the national average.
When you select an area to set up a dental practice, one of the greatest influences in the amount you are able to make will depend on the other practices available in the area. If you are working in an area with a high concentration of dentists you will need to consider the type of specialization you work into your practice very carefully. This will allow you to develop a niche practice within the market that will limit your competition. It will also allow you to work with existing practices to share clients and equipment as necessary.
You will also need to consider the overall health of the population in each state when you determine an area that is appropriate to establish your dental practice. States that put a great deal of influence on healthy living are more likely to take dental hygiene more seriously, ensuring that people will arrive for regular visits. They may also elect to undergo optional procedures like tooth whitening that a less healthy area of the country may choose to ignore.Make note of the success of other dental practices in the area where you plan to work to get a feel for what type of dental health is common.
Dentist Salary Compared To Related Fields
The average salary for a dentist is very competitive compared to other occupations in the medical field.
Average Salary of a Dentist:$161,750
Average Chiropractor Salary: $67,200
Average Optometrist Salary: $94,990
Average Podiatrist Salary: $118,030
Average Physician or Surgeon Salary: $166,400
As you can see, the salary of a dentist is higher than most specialized fields in the medical industry. Dentists are paid a comparable wage to the average surgeon or physician rather than those that require less medical training to go into practice for themselves. Much of the value of these occupations stems from the large amount of education and training necessary to work in the field.
Dentist Salary by State
There are a number of states that are known for offering a higher salary for a dentist. Listed below are the dentist salary by stateorganized by those that offer the highest salaries.
Dental Salary in New Hampshire: Average Salary $237,430
Dental Salary in Delaware: Average Salary $210,440
Dental Salary in Maine: Average Salary $208,060
Dental Salary in North Dakota: Average Salary $205,760
Dental Salary in Alabama: Average Salary $205,130
You will note that these states tend to have smaller populations compared to others. This increases the demand for dentists in specific areas. In many cases, one office will treat a whole city in a given area due to the small amount of people who live there. The higher number of patients each dentist sees will increase the salary these dentists can earn.
For the sake of comparison, note the dentist average salary in states that have the highest employment rates for dentists:
Dental Salary in California: $148,100
Dental Salary in New York: $151,860
Dental Salary in Texas: $171,330
Dental Salary in Florida: $146,520
Dental Salary in Illinois: $121,650
As you can see, most of these states offer a lower average salary than the general nationwide average. These states are also some of the most highly populated in the country. While this means that there is room in the population for a lot of dentists, they will generally see fewer individual patients, lowering the amount you can make annually. To further illustrate this point, note the states below which have the highest concentration of dentists:
Dental Salary in Nevada: $158,050
Dental Salary in Utah: $125,540
Dental Salary in Maryland: $150,180
Dental Salary in Massachusetts: $180,210
Dental Salary in Michigan: $162,200
Once again, the average salary for a dentist, while still competitively high compared to other fields, has taken a hit. Those that are interested in earning a high salary as a dentist are strongly encouraged to seek out a state that offers room for you to take on as many patients as possible.
Dentist Types of Salaries
Salaries in the dental profession are largely tied to the level of education you have earned. Those that have little experience will earn a lower salary while those that take the time to become certified to work as a dentist will be able to earn a significantly higher wage.
Dentist: Average Salary: $143,656
Dentists will be expected to take on any responsibilities regarding patient care and diagnosis of issues affecting the teeth and gums. Treatment options such as root canals, creating false teeth or filling cavities may be performed. This may include cleaning or performing other preventative maintenance on the teeth or recommending the patient see an oral surgeon or orthodontist to treat more severe issues. This profession requires a great deal of education as well as experience in the field before you will be able to strike out on your own. Most dentists will work under more experienced dentists in the field until they are ready to work in their own practice.
Dental Hygienist: Average Salary: $65,964
Dental hygienists work alongside dentists, typically focusing on providing a diagnosis of issues the patient may be suffering from. This might include checking for signs of infections, noting warning signs of cancer or checking for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Hygienists may be asked to take on basic tooth cleaning procedures including removing stains from the teeth and the area underneath the gums. They may also be able to provide advice for better oral hygiene to patients as a way of avoiding issues in the future.
Dental Assistant: Average Salary: $33,337
Dental assistants work alongside a dentist to make it easier to manage more complex dental procedures. This may include passing the dentist tools they need while they are working or maintaining the equipment. They may also be asked to perform office work such as sterilizing the equipment after it has been used, recording patient data or dealing with patients before and after their appointments.
History of Dentists
The idea of assisting people with their teeth has existed since at least 7000 BC. These professionals used drills and performed primitive operations to help relieve tooth pain. Texts from 5000 BC note professionals that would help treat tooth worms that people believed caused teeth to decay. By the 18th century, dental extractions and the treatment of gum disease were considered commonplace procedures in much of the world. In most cases, these procedures would be performed by barbers.
Dentistry was established as its own profession in the 17th century by Pierre Fauchard. By this time, technology was improving, allowing dentists to perform fillings, treat caries and eliminate tartaric acid and other sugary acids that cause tooth decay from the mouth. As the knowledge for how to practice good oral hygiene has increased and the ability to perform more advanced procedures in the office has increased, the average dentist salary has also grown to reflect this professionalism.
DentistSalary Outlook – Conclusion
While the job market in general is expected to grow by around 14 percent, the dental profession is expected to grow by 21 percent. Much of this growth will be in the sector of general practicing dentists that make a fairly average dentist salary. Orthodontists, posthodontists, maxillofacial and oral surgeons are expected to see similar growth, but dentists with other specializations are only expected to see a 12 percent growth in available positions.
As technology in the dental field continues to become more advanced and readily available, dentists will be able to take on more responsibilities without needing to turn to specialists to get the job done. This will increase the salary for a dentist because they will be able to collect payment for these procedures rather than passing the contract on to someone else.
The popularity of teeth whitening treatments and similar cosmetic procedures is also increasing the salary for dentists. Many of these procedures are not covered by insurance policies, allowing dentists to determine the appropriate cost for these procedures on their own.
In spite of the large amount of growth in the dental industry, there are not currently enough dentists to meet the population’s need. Rural areas currently have trouble getting adequate dental care, and this problem is expected to continue in the future. The average salary of a dentistwilling to address these problems is expected to be quite competitive since they will have little to no competition for their office.