Dentists are in high demand these days, and for good reason! Dental health is essential for overall well-being. But what is the average dentist salary? It depends on your specialty and the state you’re going to work in.
Dentist Salary in 2022 – Median and Mean Wages
You can expect a general dentist salary of $173,755 per year. That’s the median pay calculated by Salary.com. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides another statistic, the annual mean wage, which was listed as $180,830 in 2020. Predictions for 2022 may vary.
According to the BLS, orthodontists make the most money of all specialties. In 2020, they made $114.42 per hour on average. That’s $1.44 more than dental surgeons made.
If you take all specialties into account – including orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, prosthodontists, and all others – their annual mean wage was $186,300 in 2020.
Dentist Salaries over the Years
The BLS says that in 2020, dentist salaries ranged from a median wage of $78.85 per hour to a mean wage of $89.57. This is a steady increase from the 2015 median wage of $76.11 and mean wage of $85.16. So what accounts for this growth?
The answer is twofold. First, the dentist workforce has grown by about 14% since 2015. That’s according to the ADA Health Policy Institute. Second, an aging population is increasingly turning to dental specialists for help with their teeth and gums.
Dentist Salary by State
Where you choose to practice also has a bearing on your dentist salary. The BLS reports that salaries for general dentists ranged from $155,670 in California to $262,900 in Rhode Island in 2020. The 5 top paying states were:
- Rhode Island – $262,900,
- Vermont – $261,790,
- Alaska – $239,930,
- North Dakota – $225,770,
- Maine – $220,400.
Orthodontists earned the most in Virginia, Oregon, Nebraska, Massachusetts and Arkansas, where they made $208,000 per year or more. There isn’t accurate data available for other specialties, but you may be able to learn it from local dental practitioners.
What do Dentists Do?
Dentists are responsible for the overall health of a person’s teeth. They diagnose dental problems, provide treatment and perform preventive care. Dentists also teach patients about oral hygiene and how to take care of their teeth.
There are many types of dentists, including general dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, periodontists, orthodontists and prosthodontists. Each dentist has a different area of expertise.
General dentists are the most common type of dentist. They provide routine care, such as cleanings and cavity fillings, and they also diagnose and treat more complex issues. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth. Oral surgeons perform surgery on the mouth, teeth and jaws. Periodontists treat gum disease. Prosthodontists make and fit artificial teeth.
History of Dentistry
Dental practice has a long and colorful history. It began as an oral tradition in prehistoric times, when people used sharpened stones to clean their teeth. In Ancient Greece and Rome, dentists were considered specialists who treated only the wealthy.
During the Middle Ages, dentists were barbers who also extracted teeth. In the 1800s, dentistry became a more scientific profession. The first dental school was established in 1840. Today, there are many dentist schools across the United States.
Is Dentistry the Right Career for You?
If the average dentist salary looks appealing to you, there are a few things you should consider. First, dentists must have a strong interest in science and be able to work with their hands. They also need good communication skills so they can explain treatment plans to patients.
Dentistry is an excellent career choice if you want to help people maintain their oral health. It’s also a good option if you want to own your own business. Dentists typically have a high job satisfaction rate, and the work is interesting and challenging.
What Hours Do Dentists Work?
Dentists typically work full-time hours, but some may work part-time. Many dentists also have evening and weekend hours to accommodate their patients’ schedules. However, if you open your own dental practice, your hours will be more flexible than if you become employed in an established clinic.
What Benefits Can Dentists Expect?
The typical dentist salary comes with a benefits package that includes health insurance, dental insurance and retirement savings plans. Some employers also offer paid vacation time, sick leave and continuing education opportunities.
What Training Do You Need to Become a Dentist?
To become a dentist, you’ll need to complete four years of undergraduate study, followed by four years of dental school. After graduation, you’ll need to pass the national dental board exam and obtain a license in your state. Some dentists also choose to complete a residency or fellowship program.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Dentist?
The cost of becoming a dentist can vary depending on the type of school you attend and the state in which you live. In general, dental school tuition ranges from $30,000 to $70,000 per year. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of living expenses and books.
Interested In Becoming a Dentist?
Dentistry is a good career choice for someone who likes working with their hands and wants to start their own business. Besides, dentist salaries are on the rise. If you’re interested in becoming a dentist, contact a local dentist school to learn more about the admissions process.
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