October 2021

What Is the Average Salary of a Dentist?

Share on Facebook | Twitter

When it comes to salary, today’s dentists have plenty to smile about.

In 2020, dentistry took second place on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the 100 Best Jobs, and salary was just one part of that. Many people become dentists because they want to help others. There are few professions that give us the opportunity to improve a patient’s health, increase their self-esteem, and possibly even change their life – all by giving them a great smile.

U.S. News & World Report began its list with the jobs that have the largest projected number and percentage of openings between 2019 and 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs were then ranked on criteria such as median salary, 10-year growth, future job prospects, and work-life balance.

Of the many perks of working in dentistry, dentist salaries are indeed high on the list. Keep reading to learn more about dentist salaries – including the average dentist salary by state – and how Dental Care Alliance (DCA), one of the nation’s largest and most successful dental practice support companies, can take your compensation package to the next level.

Dentistry During a Pandemic

Smiles were a bit harder to come by in 2020, thanks to the pandemic. But if any industry was ready for COVID-19 safety restrictions and other necessary changes, it was dentistry. In terms of infection control, dentists were well ahead of the curve.

With nationwide vaccinations, continued distancing protocols in place, and many practices rebounding to pre-COVID numbers, the average dentist salary appears to be largely unaffected by the pandemic and poised for growth in 2021 and beyond.

Average Dentist Salary by State

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for dentists is $166,403. However, your dentist annual salary is largely dependent on where your practice is located.

There are several states where the dentist annual salary trends above the national average. Massachusetts tops the list, with an extra $18,777 in salary and a very active job market for dentists, followed by Hawaii and Rhode Island. In total, there are 11 states that pay above the national average.

Massachusetts             $185,181

Hawaii                             $184,645

Rhode Island                 $178,135

North Dakota                $174,895

Alaska                              $174,105

Nevada                            $172,730

Washington                   $172,585

South Dakota                $169,788

New York                        $169,053

Oregon                            $167,870

Maryland                        $166,492

Kansas                              $166,402

Nebraska                         $163,407

New Hampshire            $163,297

Kentucky                         $162,439

Virginia                            $161,264

Colorado                         $157,319

South Carolina              $157,306

Mississippi                      $155,997

Delaware                        $155,735

California                        $155,648

Vermont                          $153,712

Oklahoma                       $151,874

Wyoming                        $151,469

Connecticut                   $150,805

Arkansas                          $148,240

Michigan                         $147,502

Illinois                              $147,439

West Virginia                 $146,938

Pennsylvania                 $146,228

Idaho                                $145,970

New Jersey                     $145,146

Maine                              $144,811

Montana                         $143,986

Missouri                          $143,772

Arizona                            $142,505

Minnesota                      $142,280

Tennessee                      $141,998

Indiana                            $141,591

Texas                                $141,120

Wisconsin                       $141,051

Ohio                                  $140,971

Utah                                  $139,385

Louisiana                        $137,985

Georgia                            $137,472

Iowa                                  $136,173

Alabama                          $134,256

North Carolina              $134,047

New Mexico                   $133,980

Florida                             $129,569

Whether the salary in your state is above the national average or not, we think you’ll agree that practicing dentistry can be a lucrative and fulfilling career.  

General Dentist Salary vs. Pediatric Dentist Salary

If you are interested in helping kids create healthier smiles from the start, pediatric dentistry may be a great option.

ZipRecruiter reports that the average pediatric dentist salary is $241,574 – a 45 percent increase over the average general dentist salary of $166,403. There are six states that typically pay above the national average for pediatric dentists: Wyoming, Massachusetts (again), Montana, Arizona, Hawaii, and Indiana.

Looking Beyond Dentist Salaries

Of course, there’s far more to dentistry than salary – there are also the intangible rewards that come from serving your community and helping others smile brighter.

Job satisfaction is a tremendous benefit as well. Many dentists are able to forge their own career path, choosing where and how they practice. U.S. News and World Report confirms that today’s dentists also enjoy above-average flexibility, including alternative working schedules and work-life balance that gives them more time with family and loved ones.

Demand for dental services will likely increase as research continues to link oral health to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions, solidifying the need for good oral hygiene at every stage of life. And baby boomers are keeping more of their teeth as they age, requiring more dental care.  

Consider Working at DCA as a Dentist

DCA understands that when you succeed, we succeed – and that’s how we have grown to become one of the nation’s largest and most successful dental practice support companies. With more than 330 supported practices in 20 states, we are always searching for exceptional dentists who are ready to improve their practices, increase their compensation, and advance their careers.

Focus on Being a Dentist, Not Running a Practice

With DCA on your side, you can focus on your dental career without the daily distractions of managing a busy practice. You’ll earn income from your very first day on the job while serving a well-established and growing patient base and working with a highly skilled and dedicated staff. You’ll also receive performance-based incentives and one of the best compensation packages in the dental industry.

Potential To Be a Partner

DCA is committed to your success and believes in growing from within. Partnership and equity ownership opportunities may be available.

An Ally by Your Side

For DCA, it’s all about helping our allies succeed, whether that means supporting the 750+ dentists in our network or providing opportunities for you to work with them. You can also work directly with DCA, knowing that we share your vision of advancing dental care and will support you however we can.

Additional Benefits

Other benefits of working at DCA include:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental services
  • Life insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Long-term disability
  • Section 125 – Flexible Spending Account
  • 401K
  • EAP program
  • DCA voluntary supplemental insurance products
  • Loan consolidation
  • Paid time off

Find a Job Opening Today

Are you interested in working at DCA? View our current job openings or submit your resume so you’ll be the first to know when the perfect opportunity comes along. Whether you are a recent dental school graduate or a seasoned professional, the team at DCA is committed to helping you begin or advance your career and get the salary you deserve.