How much does a dentist earn?

According to the United States Department of Labor the median annual wages of salaried general dentists was $142,870 in May 2008

In 2002 the American Dental Association’s said, “General practitioners in the United States now earn an average of $173,140 yearly.” For a copy of the ADA report, see catalog #5102, at $75 for members, $112.50 for nonmembers or $225 for commercial firms (2568,survey@ada.org).

According to Forbes Magazine, the average dentist makes $122,883 a year.

Payscale.com listed  a dentist annual income between: $92,727 – $152,641

Salary.com listed an average dentist’s annual income in the United States as $133,201



I think it is very safe to say that a dentists salary is almost always above the $100,000 range. Of course, I do frequently hear of dentists earning over $300,000. There are things  which cause variation in a dentists salary. Here are some things that can change a dentists salary.

Raise salary* Lowers salary*
Owning your own practice
Having business skills
Working more hours
Decrease fixed overhead
Performing cosmetic dentistry
Doing complicated dental procedures at a profitable speed
Doing lots of smaller procedures very quickly
Getting advanced education in dentistry
Specializing (becoming a orthodontist etc…)
Taking cash payments for patients
Performing quality work
Working efficiently
Having a large patient body
Hiring associate dentists or more hygienists
Working for the military
Working for a large dental chain
Working fewer hours
Over staffing your business

*These are just generalizations and are not always true when applied to specific cases.

If a dentist wants more money, he/she can usually get more money by working harder or working smarter. But don’t make your decision to become a dentist purely on income.

Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Confucius (Inspirational-Quotes.us)

Here are some reasons why you should be a dentist, and some reasons why you shouldn’t.

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