How Much Do Dentists, General Make? (2023)

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How Much Money Do Dentists Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that dentists, excluding specialties such as orthodontics or oral surgeons, make a median salary of $160,370 each year or $77.1 per hour. 

Note: This salary data is for general dentistry. It excludes specialities such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists and prosthodontists. 

Do Dentists Get Paid Well?

Dentists are paid well, they earn more than three times than the national average ($45,760). Compared to other health care professionals, they also earn more. The median salary for Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations is $75,040. Dentists typically have a doctoral or professional degree. When compared to professions that require a similar level of education, dentists earn more. Other professions that require a doctoral or professional degree have a median salary of $115,010 per year.

How Much Do Dentists Get Starting Out?

The BLS does not provide average compensation data for entry-level positions for dentists just starting out, but the bottom 25 percent of dentists earn $101,570 each year.

How Many Dentists Are There in the United States?

There are 127,600 dentists in the U.S.The states with the most dentists are California (14,770), Texas (9,540) and Florida (8,080). 

Where Can Dentists Earn The Most?

Dentists earn the most money in Delaware ($233,860), New Hampshire ($225,140) and Oregon ($207,370). 

Is Becoming A Dentist Worth It?

Deciding whether or not to become a dentist depends on a number of factors such as job growth, salary information, job requirements and required education. As a dentist, you can expect strong demand for your services—employment for dentists is expected to grow by 6.1 percent between 2021 and 2031. 

To become a dentist, you must earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and pass a national licensure exam. Dental school programs typically take about four years to complete and include both classroom instruction and clinical experience.

As a dentist, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating oral health problems and promoting good oral hygiene to patients. This may include tasks such as cleaning teeth, filling cavities, and extracting teeth. Dentists work closely with dental assistants and hygienists and may be responsible for managing a dental practice and hiring and supervising staff. Dentists may work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, and clinics.

Overall, becoming a dentist can be a rewarding career choice for those who are interested in the field of dentistry and have strong problem-solving and communication skills. It offers strong job growth and a high salary, but it also requires a significant investment in terms of education and training.

A chart showing the average salary for for dentists in the United States, $164,010.

How much do dentists earn in each state?

The table below compares dentist salaries across states and U.S. territories (Source: BLS Occupational Employment and Wages May 2020). You can also find data for the number of dentists in each state as well as the number of dentists per 1,000 jobs—a figure that can help you determine the job's popularity in a given location. Not all locations have employment statistics. 

Dentist Salary
Location
Annual Salary
in location
Employment
In location
Employment per 1,000 jobs
Alaska
-
220
0.741
District of Columbia
-
510
0.745
Connecticut
-
940
0.612
New Hampshire
-
370
0.594
Vermont
-
280
1.004
Michigan
-
2540
0.647
Delaware
-
280
0.659
Maine
-
420
0.737
Rhode Island
-
280
0.632
Kentucky
$98,520
760
0.426
Puerto Rico
$69,060
100
0.119
Minnesota
$200,630
1690
0.626
Oregon
$197,640
1500
0.829
Massachusetts
$197,260
1970
0.589
Idaho
$192,010
470
0.658
South Dakota
$190,220
270
0.665
Nevada
$184,750
720
0.572
Ohio
$182,060
3070
0.598
North Dakota
$181,490
180
0.457
Illinois
$181,010
3660
0.650
Wisconsin
$179,950
1650
0.608
Hawaii
$174,320
660
1.146
Nebraska
$172,630
360
0.382
Virginia
$170,130
3090
0.836
Arizona
$169,680
2190
0.771
Alabama
$168,840
1320
0.693
Montana
$165,330
350
0.765
Washington
$164,920
2910
0.911
North Carolina
$163,000
3120
0.728
Oklahoma
$160,170
1230
0.789
Georgia
$159,860
2680
0.622
Texas
$158,300
8480
0.701
Maryland
$157,720
1800
0.715
Mississippi
$157,710
580
0.536
Missouri
$156,670
1770
0.657
New Jersey
$155,990
2390
0.633
Indiana
$152,730
2110
0.723
New York
$152,070
6270
0.722
Florida
$147,520
7050
0.835
New Mexico
$147,260
630
0.807
Kansas
$146,510
720
0.538
Iowa
$145,610
940
0.639
Arkansas
$145,560
720
0.609
Colorado
$145,330
1840
0.713
California
$142,720
12040
0.733
Tennessee
$132,590
1090
0.374
South Carolina
$132,430
1610
0.800
Pennsylvania
$131,540
3030
0.550
Wyoming
$120,180
300
1.164
Utah
$118,530
1310
0.882
West Virginia
$117,250
410
0.636
Louisiana
$103,670
1130
0.625