Dentist Salaries – What's the Bottom Line?

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Dentist salaries, driven by the shortage of dental candidates will vary throughout the United States depending on location and specialization. And of course, a dentist salary is also heavily influenced by the shortage of qualified dental professionals in the dental job marketplace. Essentially there are more dentists retiring than the dental schools can produce, and at the same time, the American population is growing, and the number of teaching faculty is decreasing. What does this mean for the average DDS? Even in an economic slowdown, the need for dentists is strong.

The average dentist pay can range widely for those practicing general dentistry. Newly grads especially those looking for work in rural areas generally start in the in the low $100K's up to the $150K range. But don’t be fooled by what the average DDS earnings are. While $150K is a nice amount, $100,000 can go a whole lot further in Savannah, Georgia, than it does in Bergen County, New Jersey, or San Jose, California.

In the United States, the average dentist earns around $187k/yr on 4 days a week plus benefits. This average of course includes newly grads and semi-retired dentists. Of course, many seasoned dentists in private practices regularly earn $200k-$400k as general dentists with 200k reflecting only $1000/day four days a week.

Here’s a paraphrased comment I recently received from a Cleveland area dentist:
“If you take the price of one core/crown or root canal priced at about $1000 -- we do more than one a day! Even the cheap big chains around here pay about $1000/day and private offices usually have a good associate doing about $6000-$8000/day in production and earning about $2000- $3000/day... I can produce over $1M/yr of quality dentistry on 4 days a week, which means I am worth $350k+ or $2000/day+. I work at a couple offices a couple days a week so they can provide a full schedule where I can earn a respectable living. “

Dentist average salary ranges for dental specialists (orthodontists, pediatric dentists, etc.) are usually in the $175-$250K range yearly also depending on location and urgency.


• The Nationwide (U.S.) average compensation for dentists is around $187,000.

• The Nationwide average earnings for specialists is around $243,000.


Talk to a Dental Recruiter today.

Happy Molar

Are you a dentist seeking employment opportunities? My name is Tom Gallant, and I’d like to be your dentist recruiter. I know that there are a lot of recruiters and healthcare headhunters that you can talk to, but I'm specialized in the dental profession. I work on a contingency basis, and only receive a fee after placing from your employer. Please contact me to discuss dentistry jobs that you’d consider interviewing for, and I look forward to the privilege of working with you.

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