• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    The latest hourly and annual salary numbers for dentists and dental assistants

    Looking at the most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – and what it means to you.

    In order to be a dentist – or anyone in the healthcare field, for that matter – one has to want to help others. And while there is an altruistic element to the work, the fact remains that dentists want to get paid for their hard work.

    In 2016 there were more than 105,000 dentists, and if the research holds true, that number will grow almost 20 percent by 2024. Those numbers are from the most recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, which reveals a lot of great information about the dental profession, telling us where the most (and least) amount of dentists practice, where they are paid the most (and least), and what kind of outlook  the profession can expect. (Spoiler: It’s good… REALLY good).

    Related reading: See how the salary numbers from 2014 stack up against today's averages

    How much are dentists getting paid

    Let’s take a look at the big picture, first. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 the median annual salary for dentists was $159,770 or $76.81 per hour.

    Not surprisingly, dentists make the most out of everyone else on the dental team – hygienists made an average of $73,440, dental lab technicians made $40,760 and dental assistants made $36,940.

    But the title “dentist” in this case is a blanket term applied to all specialties. When we break down salaries further, we get more exact earnings. Based on the data, dentists in the following specialties earned:

    ·      Orthodontists -- $208,000 or more

    ·      Oral and maxillofacial surgeons -- $208,000 or more

    ·      Dentists, all other specialists -- $173,000

    ·      Dentists, general -- $153,900

    ·      Prosthodontists -- $126,050

    Trending article: The states with the best and worst dental health

    Of course, earnings varied by the doctor’s location, the number of hours worked, his or her specialty, and the amount of experience.

    Not surprisingly, the bulk of dentists (95,330) work in conventional dental offices. However, that is not the only place where dentists can be found. The data also shows dentists working in places like physicians’ offices (2,770), outpatient care centers (2,540) and hospitals (1,500). The highest paid setting was for those 30 dentists that work in “Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities”. They earned an average of $184,620.


    Next: How it breaks down by location

    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


    Add Comment
    • No comments available