What is the Average Dentist Salary?

DentalPost takes a look at what are the salary and outlook of a Dentist.

What Should You Expect If Become a General Dentist or Other Type of Dental Professional?

If you decide to get into a dental practice, you’ll find that many things impact how much money you’ll make. One thing you can count on, regardless of the area or the economy, is that there will always be a need for dental care.

Although most of us think of dentistry in terms of a general dentist that most see for yearly checkups, other types include:

  • An endodontist, a dental specialist who performs root canals
  • A cosmetic dentistry specialist who does procedures like veneers, bonding or whitening
  • Pediatric dentistry specialists who treat children and teens
  • Dentists who perform oral surgery, including more complicated extractions

Anyone following job alert opportunities for dental positions will find a lot of prospects.

Median Salaries for Dentist Jobs

In 2018, general dentistry and other types of dentists enjoyed a $151,850 median salary. The average rate for the top 255 metro areas was $208,000, with the lowest 255 was $107,440.

Job Outlook for the Dentist

The Bureau of Labor Statistics gave a 7.6% job growth outlook for dental services providers. This growth rate is expected through 2028, with 10,400 new pediatric dentists and DMD positions, among others.

What Cities Pay the Best for a Full-Time Dentist?

The cities that pay the highest for dentists, as well as office staff like a dental assistant or dental hygienist, include:

Working at a dental office in one of these locations can bring in salaries ranging from $259,660 to $279,580. Even though a part-time or full-time dentist will see the best pay, other oral health professionals will also see satisfactory salaries.

Amarillo, TX

Amarillo offers a wealth of opportunities for dental professionals, with the city has started to recover from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. As a major agricultural center in the state, the city has a lot to offer for professionals wanting to work in a state with low malpractice insurance rates.

Longview, TX

With increasingly diverse populations, cities in Texas have many opportunities for professionals to put their communication skills to use. The endodontist and other specialist positions are in demand across Texas.

Fond du Lac, WI

Because Wisconsin has a lower cost of living than many states, more permanent positions are available.

Reno, NV

Job types for dental professionals are abundant in this rapidly-growing area. Your dental dreams could quickly come true by getting a position in this area.

Sebring, FL

Regardless of whether your dental practice will be primarily routine X-ray or cleaning appointments or more specialized services, the demand here will remain high. This area of Florida has a continually-growing retiree population that fuels demand for dental professionals.

The Best-Paying States for Dentists in Private Practice

Five states stand out for paying the highest rates for dentists, both in and out of general practice. These states are:

New Hampshire boasts a business-friendly environment that attracts many professionals, and the proximity to Boston allows dental program graduates plenty of opportunities to find regular patients. Minnesota has an increasing need for dental professionals to work in the metro areas of this diverse state.

As a small state close to many areas of Massachusetts and Connecticut, Rhode Island has a large list of general dentist opportunities. Alaska has a higher demand for dentists due to its remote location, perfect for program graduates seeking more than part-time work. Delaware also boasts a business-friendly environment and proximity to quickly-growing areas, making the state ideal for full-time opportunities.

What Are Some of the Patient Care Locations Where Dentists May Work?

Although the education level and region affect dentist opportunity options available, the individual employer, experience, and industry where a dentist specializes will also affect pay levels.

Most dentists keep a full-time position, either in a private office or as part of a bigger dental center with other professionals. It is not uncommon for professionals with an associate general dentist position to keep extended hours or work on the weekends.

Some of the locations that may employ an associate dentist or other dental pro include:

  • Outpatient group practice
  • Other health professionals, including fee-for-service clinics
  • State government settings that need the right candidate
  • Private dental offices with an established patient base
  • Substance abuse and mental health facilities that require high-quality care
  • Residential developmental and intellectual disability facilities that require a general dentist

Other Dental Practice-Related Jobs

There are other dental care and related jobs that provide high pay levels. Some of these positions may exist within the same practice where dental associates work.


A dental hygienist plays an important role in taking care of a patient before they see their dentist. The hygienist’s job is to perform a full evaluation of the patient’s teeth and mouth and administer the required preventative treatment often before the dental exam.


A prosthodontist is a dentist specializing in tooth restoration, as well as replacement. When teeth are replaced, they may take the form of implants, bridges, or dentures.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Unlike dentists who normally specialize in oral surgery that involves the teeth alone, these surgeons also provide surgery on the face and jaw. Unlike the dentist you customarily see, these professionals are more likely to treat more complicated or trauma-related cases.

From Education to Established Practice

Whether a graduate seeks an associate dentist or another type of position, the states and metro regions with the best pay rates have a lot to offer. Even though going through the process to get into dentistry can be lengthy, the rewards are worth the effort.

However, in the end, the best part about the job is helping other people with dental and overall health. If you want to make someone smile, then this might be the right career for you.

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