Jobs & Careers

Dentist Salary – How Much Does a Dentist Make?

Dentist Salary – How Much Does a Dentist Make?. Usually enough the Dentists are highly paid medical professionals. This field is destined to see a stellar job growth of 16 percent till 2018, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Having said this, the dentists must complete the tedious and long academic programs and moreover have to pass the national exams before they can start practicing. How much a dentist earns in comparison to his colleagues greatly depends on his area of expertise.

Dentist Salary – How Much Does a Dentist Make?

 General Dentist Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the general dentists earned up to an average of $101,000 a year, as of Jun 2, 2012. The earning power of dentists varies on a number of variables like experience, location, the amount of hours worked and their specialization. Alaska has the highest wages for the dentists. The practitioners can earn more than $200,000 per annum. The self-employed orthodontists who are doing private practice have a tendency to earn much higher than the salaried ones.

The salaried dentists often receive other forms of benefits and compensation by their employer. For instance, the health insurance and malpractice insurance and that is why paying for these services and other benefits like life insurance and the retirement plans detract them from the earnings of the self-employed dentists.

Dentist Salary – How Much Does a Dentist Make?

General Dentists Starting Salaries

About 15 percent of the dentists are specialists and the rest are general practitioners. The general practitioners indulge in the routine patient care for instance the diagnosis of and treating of the diseases, injuries, teeth malformation and other oral malfunctioning. Some treat the diseases of nerves and the pulp and the dental tissues that can affect the teeth. Just like other professionals, the dentists make less than their counterparts in the beginning of their career. In the year 2008 the lowest 10 percent of the general dentists earned an hourly wage of $34.55 per hour or $71,870 per year.


The Prosthodontists are the ones who specialize in the construct oral prostheses. These are employed to replace the missing teeth or rectify the deformation in the mouth and the jaws of the patient which can be caused genetically or by an accident. They are used to restore and maintain the normal functions of the mouth and the teeth which include chewing and speaking or for aesthetic reasons. In 2008, the lowest 10 percent of the Prosthodontists earned $34.96 per hour or $72,710 in a year as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Another form of dental specialty is orthodontics. These dentists diagnose and cure the dental problems such as malocclusions or the misalignment of teeth and other abnormalities such as the oral cavity. They devise or create gadgets in order to correctly align the teeth and the jaws in order to improve the oral functions and the appearances. The bottom 10 percent of the orthodontists made $48.55 an hour in 2008 or roughly a $ 100,980 per year. Among the dental specialists they have the highest salaries.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons do the dental surgeries which can be performed in the mouth or the jaw and the related portions of the head and the neck which is necessary sometimes to perform the difficult extractions of teeth, remove the tumors and to correct the abnormal jaw growth or to cure jaw fractures. The lowest 10 percent of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons earned $45.51 per hour or $94,650 per year during 2008, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earning Power

The earning capacity of all the orthodontists keeps on increasing with their experience. As an instance the top 10 percent of general dentists (the dentists with lower salaries) still earn about $100,000 per year whereas the top earners in this field can accrue up to $190,000 per year.

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