The best and worst states to work in a dental practice: 2017

March 31, 2017

From 1 to 50, we looked at each state to see how it really stacks up for dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental front office team members.

Whether you’re a big-city person or a suburbanite through and through, we all have our personal preferences when it comes to where we call home.

Maybe you can’t imagine leaving your home state, moving to a rural area or navigating your way through a busy metropolis. Perhaps the idea of trudging through Northern snow makes you shiver with revulsion, or the sound of a dry heat makes you break out in a nervous sweat. But is your favorite place to live actually the best place to work?  

Regardless of your preferences or reasons for living where you do, you may not actually be in a great place to work in a dental practice! Back in 2015, we took a look at which states were the most favorable for dental professionals-and this year, decided it was time to update that list. Using a set of 11 criteria, we examined the best and worst states to work in a dental practice.  

Related reading: The best and worst states to work in a dental practice: 2015

The 11 criteria we examined were:

  • Median income

  • Percentage of population who visited the dentist in the past year

  • Population’s dental habits

  • Population’s level of oral health

  • Percentage of population that is uninsured

  • Percentage of population on Medicaid

  • Cost of living

  • Education level of patients

  • Crime statistics

  • Population’s overall well-being

  • Population’s financial savviness

We assessed each of these categories and gave each state a ranking between one and 50 (with one being the best and 50 the worst). Then, we compiled the number rankings for each state to come up with a final score. As in golf, the lower the better! We then ranked the states from one to 50 based on that final score to find out which states were the best and worst to work in a dental practice. Interestingly, the list was largely different from what it was in 2015-and the results may surprise you!

Read on to see where your state ranked and why it ended up where it did on our national rankings.

 

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New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

 

Congrats to Minnesota! You'll have to suffer through some seriously snowy winters, but high rankings in education, dentist-visiting residents and financial savvy (eighth, third and first respectively) make the Land of 10,000 Lake's the best state for dentists. The state boasts the fourth lowest rate of uninsured residents, and has the lowest percentage of adults with poor or fair oral condition in the entire country. And the snow must not be getting people down: Minnesota ranked first in overall happiness and general well-being.

Median income12Financial savvy1
Dental habits1Education8
Oral health3Safety/crime11
Overall well-being1% uninsured4
Cost of living31% on Medicaid9
% who visited dentist in last year3Total score84

 

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Well done Connecticut: The New England state moved from 15th place in our 2015 rankings, to the prestigious 2017 silver medal. Ranking fifth in median income, the state has the third-lowest crime ranking in the country. Additionally, more Constitution State residents visited the dentist in the past year than folks in any other state. Ranking number two in oral health and fourth in education level, the state’s big downside is its price tag: Connecticut has the fourth-highest cost of living in the United States.

 

Median income5Financial savvy4
Dental habits17Education4
Oral health2Safety/crime3
Overall well-being13% uninsured9
Cost of living45% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year1Total score130


 

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(tied with Massachusetts and New Hampshire)

Iowa: 75% vowels, 100% awesome for dentists. Although it’s dropped one slot from its number two ranking in 2015, Iowans boast the third-best dental habits in the country. While the Hawkeye State ranks in the middle of the pack for median income and education levels, high insurance percentages and low crime statistics contributed to the state’s number three ranking. Iowa ranked 12th overall for dental visits and finished 14 out of 50 for general well being, bumping this hearty Midwestern land to the number three slot.

 

Median income25Financial savvy10
Dental habits3Education26
Oral health16Safety/crime6
Overall well-being14% uninsured5
Cost of living15% on Medicaid14
% who visited dentist in last year12Total score146

 

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(tied with Iowa and New Hampshire)

Home to prestigious institutes such as Harvard and M.I.T., the Bay State boasts residents that seem to be incredibly intelligent when it comes to dental care, ranking second in both visits to the dentist and first in the percentage of uninsured. A high cost of living rightfully is marginally offset by high levels of financial savvy, but at least they've got the Patriots Super Bowl victory keep their spirits up. One other low ranking: Massachusetts ranked 42 out of 50 for percentage of residents on Medicaid, with 23 percent of residents utilizing the service.

 

Median income6Financial savvy6
Dental habits6Education1
Oral health13Safety/crime7
Overall well-being15% uninsured1
Cost of living47% on Medicaid42
% who visited dentist in last year2Total score146

 

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(tied with Massachusetts and Iowa)

Tied with Iowa and its letter-heavy New England compatriot for third overall, New Hampshire is a solid place for dentists. The Granite state boasts the seventh highest median income, but the high cost of living might be a deterrent for some (all that skiing gets expensive). The big price tag may also contribute to the high financial savvy of NH residents, who ranked second overall in knowledge of how to stretch their money. New Hampshire also has the highest percentage of adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year, but despite the teens good dental attendance, overall ranks slightly below the middle of the pack for overall oral health. However, this tiny state's high rankings in education and low percentages on Medicaid (ranking sixth and fifth respectively) make New Hampshire an attractive option.

 

Median income7Financial savvy2
Dental habits15Education6
Oral health29Safety/crime10
Overall well-being7% uninsured13
Cost of living40% on Medicaid5
% who visited dentist in last year12Total score146

 

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The Garden State is more than just a home for New York sports teams: It's also a great state for dentists. Jumping up from an overall 16th place finish in 2015, New Jersey placed fourth for both best oral health and median income. Perhaps thanks to the regularity of tooth-loss-related escapades of the NHL's New Jersey Devils, the state ranked ninth for visits to the dentist. However, a low ranking for insured residents and abysmal dental habits dropped this small state off of the podium.

 

Median income4Financial savvy8
Dental habits44Education10
Oral health4Safety/crime2
Overall well-being6% uninsured26
Cost of living23% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year9Total score155

 

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Wisconsin should be known for its consistency, tastiness of cheese and rankings for dental professionals: America’s Dairyland ranked seventh for the second time in a row. Despite average median income and excellent dental habits, the Badgers landed in the middle of the pack for cost of living and crime, which affected their overall rankings. Wisconsin also ranked 11th in visits to the dentist (with 70.1% of adults visiting the dentist in the past year), had a low percentage of uninsured residents and ranked 16 out of 50 for overall well-being. Milwaukee, here we come.

 

Median income23Financial savvy7
Dental habits2Education24
Oral health7Safety/crime21
Overall well-being19% uninsured6
Cost of living24% on Medicaid14
% who visited dentist in last year11Total score158

 

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Although Virginia skulks at the end of the alphabet, it’s near the top of our list. The Mother of Presidents might also be becoming the mother of dentists, after its eighth-place ranking! Virginia's high percentage of uninsured and high cost of living may be the cause for the 22nd-place finish in overall well-being; however, high median income means plenty of money for tooth care, and Virginia finished 14th for visits to the dentist and second for best oral health.

 

Median income8Financial savvy27
Dental habits8Education7
Oral health2Safety/crime12
Overall well-being22% uninsured28
Cost of living28% on Medicaid3
% who visited dentist in last year14Total score159

 

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Money seems to be no issue for the Orioles, who came in first for median income, despite the high cost of living in the Chesapeake Bay State. When not enjoying delicious blue crab, Marylanders frequent the dentist, placing ninth overall in visits to get their teeth checked and tenth for good dental habits. So pull out a crab bib: If you don't mind a little violent crime, Maryland might be the perfect east coast state for your dental practice.

 

Median income1Financial savvy20
Dental habits10Education2
Oral health26Safety/crime25
Overall well-being16% uninsured16
Cost of living44% on Medicaid11
% who visited dentist in last year9Total score180

 

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Rhode Island has jumped up the ranks from 22nd in 2015, to have the fourth best dental habits in the country. Although the tiniest state ranks in the top five in the country for visits to the dentist, the fact that the cost of living is so high (42 out of 50 where the cheapest is the highest rank) drops their overall ranking. That also may be why, despite having a respectable ranking when it comes to median income, Rhode Islanders have median financial savvy and low overall well-being. Other bonus: Rhode Island has the fourth-lowest crime rate. And hey, they were number one of the 13 original colonies!

 

Median income19Financial savvy21
Dental habits4Education21
Oral health20Safety/crime4
Overall well-being31% uninsured3
Cost of living45% on Medicaid14
% who visited dentist in last year5Total score184

 

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Dropping one spot from 2015, few financial concerns and the country’s lowest percentage of residents on Medicaid push this sparsely populated state to 11th on the list. Though North Dakota has the 16th highest median income, these neighbors of Canada have an above average cost of living. Another downside: We hear there's not much to do up there in the Peace Garden State, which might contribute to its abysmal 44th place finish on overall well-being. Ranking right in the middle at 25th for dental visits, North Dakotans has the fifth best dental habits in the country.

 

Median income16Financial savvy3
Dental habits5Education23
Oral health9Safety/crime16
Overall well-being44% uninsured21
Cost of living26% on Medicaid1
% who visited dentist in last year25Total score189

 

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“Aloha” can mean hello or goodbye, but you will definitely be using it in the latter sense when it comes to your money on this pricey island.The most expensive state to live in, Hawaii also ranks dead last for dental habits. Ranking 19 out of 50 for percentage of residents on Medicare, the Aloha State has an impressively low rate (just three percent) of uninsured residents. Hawaii also boasts the second-highest high overall well-being (who wouldn't be happy in paradise?, and has the sixth-highest percentage of residents who visited the dentist.

 

Median income22Financial savvy16
Dental habits50Education15
Oral health5Safety/crime24
Overall well-being2% uninsured3
Cost of living50% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year6Total score192

 

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Tucked away way up in New England, the Green Mountain State came in second among the states for the lowest percentage of uninsured. Frequently snowed-in Vermont also ranked first for the least crime and fifth for education level. All that tasty maple syrup led Vermont citizens to frequent the dentist, ranking fourth in terms of visits-but it also landed them in 34th place for overall oral health.

 

Median income20Financial savvy19
Dental habits19Education5
Oral health34Safety/crime1
Overall well-being10% uninsured2
Cost of living43% on Medicaid36
% who visited dentist in last year4Total score193

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(tied with Nebraska)

Despite being home to bustling Chicago, Illinois doesn’t particularly distinguish itself in many of our 10 categories-but then, it doesn’t rank particularly low either! Folks in Illinois have the best oral health in the country, probably stemming from their high-ranking dental habits, and enjoy an average cost of living. Average rankings for residents on Medicaid or uninsured bring the Land of Lincoln down, and may contribute to the low number of people who visited the dentist last year (Illinois ranked 32 out of 50 in this category). 

 

Median income18Financial savvy13
Dental habits9Education16
Oral health1Safety/crime20
Overall well-being26% uninsured20
Cost of living21% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year32Total score203

 

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(tied with Illinois)

Dentists may want to follow in the steps of Lewis and Clark in their exploration of 14th-ranked Nebraska. With mid-table rankings oral health and number of people visiting the dentist, Cornhuskers ranked 11th overall for good dental habits. Lower median incomes balanced out with a low cost of living, leaving residents with good overall well-being. And with a noteworthy fifth place finish for fewest number of people on Medicaid, life on the prairie has never looked better for dentists!

 

Median income24Financial savvy17
Dental habits11Education18
Oral health21Safety/crime26
Overall well-being12% uninsured33
Cost of living13% on Medicaid5
% who visited dentist in last year23Total score203

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The fine folks of this Midwestern state have it pretty good. Their cost of living is in the nation’s Top 10 (#8 overall) and few people are on Medicaid compared to the rest of the country. Average crime and overall well-being rankings were balanced out by high education levels and financial savvy, which brought Kansas up four places from its 20th-place finish in 2015.

 

Median income27Financial savvy15
Dental habits18Education14
Oral health22Safety/crime28
Overall well-being23% uninsured27
Cost of living8% on Medicaid5
% who visited dentist in last year17Total score204

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High cost of living and poor overall oral health push Colorado down the icy slopes to 17th on the list. However, with high median income and education levels, and a high ranking of overall well-being (11th, third and third of 50, respectively), Colorado boasts a below-average number of Broncos that are uninsured. And hey, we hear the scenery is breathtaking.

 

Median income11Financial savvy23
Dental habits13Education3
Oral health32Safety/crime31
Overall well-being3% uninsured22
Cost of living32% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year19Total score216

 

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While Utah ranked in the bottom half for insurance coverage and oral health, this mountain state ranked 15th for visits to the dentist. High education levels (go Cougars!) and above-average median income contributed to a high ranking for overall well-being, but a high number of uninsured citizens and low financial savvy brought Utah down to the 18th spot overall.

 

Median income13Financial savvy32
Dental habits24Education11
Oral health39Safety/crime32
Overall well-being4% uninsured35
Cost of living17% on Medicaid4
% who visited dentist in last year15Total score226

 

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Remaining steady at number 19, North Dakota's southern sister ranks 32nd for education level and 29th for violent crime, both statistics that drove its overall ranking lower. However, Mount Rushmore shouldn't be the only draw for prospective residents: This grassland state ranked ninth in overall well-being and eighth in visits to the dentist, despite its #28 ranking for median income and a below average rank for cost of living (#34). 

 

Median income28Financial savvy11
Dental habits22Education32
Oral health14Safety/crime29
Overall well-being9% uninsured33
Cost of living34% on Medicaid9
% who visited dentist in last year8Total score229

 

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New York jumped up significantly from our 2015 rankings-from number 36 to number 20. That’s despite having the second-highest cost of living, and ranking 45th in patients on Medicaid. However, those numbers are evened out by high numbers of New Yorkers who practice good dental habits (#7) and are financially savvy (#5). New York also, perhaps surprisingly to viewers of literally any crime show, ranks in the top five for low crime concerns and community safety, though some of that is no doubt thanks to the upstate folks. And, if this survey were entirely ranked upon the best pizza, they would be number one without a doubt.

 

Median income15Financial savvy5
Dental habits7Education13
Oral health30Safety/crime5
Overall well-being27% uninsured19
Cost of living49% on Medicaid45
% who visited dentist in last year17Total score232

 

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If you don't mind living in the shadow of a volcano, Washington State is a slightly above-average option for dentists. Ranking 18th in visits to the dentist, this coastal state in the top 10 of median income, and boasts a well-educated population with excellent oral health. Despite that oral health ranking, Washington still ranks 36th in dental habits, and has a significant population on Medicaid. Plus, the cost of living ranks near the bottom of the list, at number 37. Turns out it’s expensive to be a Seahawks fan.

 

Median income10Financial savvy14
Dental habits36Education9
Oral health10Safety/crime27
Overall well-being20% uninsured17
Cost of living37% on Medicaid39
% who visited dentist in last year19Total score238

 

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As the first state, Delaware might find its position at number 22 disappointing-but fear not Delawarites (Delawarians? Delawarans? Who can know?), your state still ranks in the top 10 of lowest number of uninsured! Plus, it’s in the top 10 percent for safety and crime, but ranks 33 in cost of living. It’s a mixture of positive and negative factors that affect residents of this original colony.

 

Median income14Financial savvy24
Dental habits20Education17
Oral health18Safety/crime45
Overall well-being21% uninsured8
Cost of living33% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year22Total score241

 

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Whether they’re fans of the Stillers or the Birds, Pennsylvanians rank precisely in the middle of the pack when it comes to dental health. While Pennsylvania ranks in the top 15 for lowest number of uninsured people, that good rating is offset in our rankings by a high cost of living (#35) and a lower overall well-being ranking (#38). However, the residents of the Keystone State do rank in the top 10 for financial savviness, so at the very least that should help with the cost of living. Either way, a state responsible for cheesesteak and Yuengling is alright by us.

 

Median income21Financial savvy9
Dental habits25Education28
Oral health25Safety/crime9
Overall well-being38% uninsured14
Cost of living35% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year21Total score244

 

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That State Up North might be known for their sports and their beer (along with, you know, a world-class research institution in Ann Arbor), but it’s also one of the cheapest places to live in the country. That fact is tempered by the fact that Michigan is in the bottom 10 of overall well-being, and ranked 44 in safety and crime. Michigan does have pretty solid oral health (its rank is 11th in overall oral health and 12th in dental habits), but the state’s problems drag the Wolverine state into the middle of our rankings.

 

Median income33Financial savvy26
Dental habits12Education27
Oral health11Safety/crime44
Overall well-being40% uninsured12
Cost of living3% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year16Total score251

 

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Wyoming, home to Yellowstone and the best state flag in the union, took a tumble in our rankings (from 11 to 25). That’s likely because their rank in uninsured people dropped to #41, a significant fall. Additionally, Wyoming ranks just 40th in dental habits. However, the least-populated state does have some silver linings-the state has the lowest percentage of its population on Medicaid and it ranks in the top 20 for cost of living.

 

Median income17Financial savvy18
Dental habits40Education25
Oral health35Safety/crime17
Overall well-being17% uninsured41
Cost of living16% on Medicaid1
% who visited dentist in last year28Total score255

 

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Idahoans presumably enjoy a never-ending supply of potatoes and one of the cheapest places to live, in terms of cost of living-the state ranks sixth in the nation! But, that’s combined with a ranking in the bottom 10 of median income. The Gem State does rank 12th in oral health, but it has a large population of uninsured people and ranks low in financial savviness. But hey … potatoes are delicious.

 

Median income40Financial savvy35
Dental habits23Education33
Oral health12Safety/crime18
Overall well-being24% uninsured39
Cost of living6% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year30Total score279

 

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Though the Cavs and the Indians have given Ohioans reasons to hope (the less one thinks about the Bengals and Browns, the better), Ohio doesn't fare very well in our rankings. That is because the Buckeye state ranks very low (38) in percentage of the population on Medicaid and even lower (42) in overall well-being. The state does demonstrate excellent oral health at #8, but factors like lower median income and education level pull down Ohio’s overall ranking.

 

Median income34Financial savvy28
Dental habits28Education34
Oral health8Safety/crime19
Overall well-being42% uninsured15
Cost of living18% on Medicaid38
% who visited dentist in last year26Total score290

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Host to those with a need for speed, Indiana is the second best in the nation is in terms of cost of living, yet it ranks just 36th in dental visits. Indiana residents rank below average in median income and financial savviness, which may be factors why some choose not to visit the dentist regularly. However, with top-20 rankings in both oral health and dental habits, there are certainly some silver linings for all those Hoosiers.

 

Median income35Financial savvy31
Dental habits16Education38
Oral health15Safety/crime22
Overall well-being44% uninsured30
Cost of living2% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year36Total score296

 

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Prospects in the Golden State look bright, as it ranks number nine in median income and fifth in overall well being ... at least until you look at the exorbitant cost of living and low oral health ranking. While you may be blinded by the stars in Tinsel Town, you'd also have to be blind to not cringe at Cali's near-bottom-of-the-barrel ranking for percentage of patients on Medicaid. At the very least, the people of California can take solace in their high ranking for financial savviness!

 

Median income9Financial savvy12
Dental habits34Education29
Oral health45Safety/crime23
Overall well-being5% uninsured25
Cost of living48% on Medicaid25
% who visited dentist in last year27Total score305

 

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Whether you prefer mountains or beaches, Tar Heels or Blue Devils, North Carolina has something for you-unless you're looking for high median incomes or insured rates, which are startlingly low. People in North Caroline do seem to care about dental habits (they rank 14th) but that doesn’t transition to overall oral health, where they rank 31. That could be because they also rank 31st in annual dental visits.

 

Median income41Financial savvy34
Dental habits14Education36
Oral health31Safety/crime14
Overall well-being32% uninsured40
Cost of living19% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year31Total score311

 

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Whether you love beer, good food, pine trees, wine or “artisan” products, Oregon has you covered. Much of its population is also “covered” (sorry) by insurance, as it ranks 18th nationwide in insurance coverage. However, the Beaver State ranks 36th in overall well-being, and 39th in cost of living, both lower numbers that brought its overall ranking down in model. The state does rank high in education level (at 12), but that’s balanced out by lower than average financial savviness and crime/safety scores.

 

Median income26Financial savvy38
Dental habits30Education12
Oral health24Safety/crime35
Overall well-being36% uninsured18
Cost of living39% on Medicaid45
% who visited dentist in last year24Total score327

 

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Over the last two years, Maine dropped from number 25 in our rankings to number 32. Why? Well, for starters, their overall well-being ranking dropped from 14 to 30. They also dropped in number of people who visited the dentist. However, the residents of the Pine Tree States have other things to be glad about (in addition to, you know, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world): Maine ranks in the top 10 in terms of safety, and its education and financial savviness rankings are respectable at 22. Unfortunately, those facts are coupled with a bottom-three finish in dental habits.

 

Median income30Financial savvy22
Dental habits47Education22
Oral health36Safety/crime8
Overall well-being30% uninsured24
Cost of living38% on Medicaid42
% who visited dentist in last year33Total score332

 

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Juneau that Alaska is the top three for median income? It’s true! The northernmost state also ranked #18 for overall well-being ... but came in at a lowly 46th for oral health. In addition to all the caribou and ice, residents also battle the high cost of living on the tundra, as Alaska ranks 46th for cost of living and an uninsured rate that’s second highest in the nation. Fortunately, Alaska also is in the top 20 for lowest percentage of its population on Medicaid, so there is a snow-covered silver lining! 

 

Median income3Financial savvy33
Dental habits29Education20
Oral health46Safety/crime49
Overall well-being18% uninsured49
Cost of living46% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year29Total score340

 

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The Show Me State proudly shows off a respectable cost of living ranking, coming in at 11 out of 50 states. But there's a long road ahead of Missouri in terms of health and well-being: This starting-point state for the Oregon Trail is ranked 41st in overall well-being and 43rd in visits to the dentist, which may explain why they rank 32nd in dental habits. Missouri does, however, boast a top-five ranking in terms of percentage of their population on Medicaid. While it's not the worst option for dentists, it might be best to harness your oxen and take your wagon elsewhere.

 

Median income36Financial savvy50
Dental habits32Education31
Oral health23Safety/crime41
Overall well-being41% uninsured31
Cost of living11% on Medicaid5
% who visited dentist in last year43Total score344

 

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The Treasure State has found good fortune when it comes to education and the percent of people on Medicaid. However, the mountainous region has a stiff peak to climb in terms of dental habits (45th) and best oral health (48th), landing it in the middle of our rankings.

 

Median income37Financial savvy25
Dental habits45Education19
Oral health48Safety/crime30
Overall well-being25% uninsured42
Cost of living30% on Medicaid12
% who visited dentist in last year34Total score347

 

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Things are looking peachy for Georgia in terms of best oral health (17th) and the cost of living (14th). Unfortunately, the state ranks low for several other categories, including uninsured rates (47th) and financial savviness (45th), which means you may not want to have Georgia on your mind when it comes to finding a dental practice to work at.

 

Median income32Financial savvy45
Dental habits26Education35
Oral health17Safety/crime33
Overall well-being34% uninsured47
Cost of living14% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year39Total score349

 

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Known for its derby races and mint juleps, Kentucky fares well in cost of living, safety and crime, and uninsured rates. But the Bluegrass State’s rankings plummet for the remainder of the categories, making it fall behind the rest of the pack in this race.

 

Median income46Financial savvy40
Dental habits21Education46
Oral health41Safety/crime13
Overall well-being50% uninsured11
Cost of living10% on Medicaid39
% who visited dentist in last year38Total score355

 

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Everything’s bigger in Texas -- except when it comes to the number of people visiting the dentist. The Lone Star State also earns low marks in best oral health (47th) and education (42nd). Fortunately, the home of the Alamo is also home to low cost of living.

 

Median income22Financial savvy36
Dental habits27Education42
Oral health47Safety/crime38
Overall well-being33% uninsured50
Cost of living9% on Medicaid12
% who visited dentist in last year47Total score363

 

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Ah, the Sunshine State. A home to beautiful beaches and resorts, which could contribute to residents having a sunny outlook on their overall well-being. But warm weather can only do so much. The state receives low rankings for safety and crime (46th), dental habits (42nd) and best oral health (42nd).  

 

Median income38Financial savvy29
Dental habits42Education37
Oral health42Safety/crime46
Overall well-being29% uninsured46
Cost of living27% on Medicaid19
% who visited dentist in last year35Total score390

 

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Good news Sooners: your state is one of the most affordable to live in, ranking fifth nationally. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news stops. The southern state ranks 45th or lower in dental habits, uninsured rates, percent of visitors and overall well-being.

 

Median income39Financial savvy41
Dental habits49Education41
Oral health28Safety/crime34
Overall well-being47% uninsured48
Cost of living5% on Medicaid14
% who visited dentist in last year49Total score395

 

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Just like the deep valleys of the Grand Canyon, Arizona has sunk deep into the bottom of our list. The southwest state receives low marks for best oral health (49th), Medicaid insurance rates (47th) and visitors to the state (42nd).

 

Median income31Financial savvy37
Dental habits35Education30
Oral health49Safety/crime39
Overall well-being28% uninsured36
Cost of living25% on Medicaid47
% who visited dentist in last year42Total score399

 

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With schools like the College of Charleston and Clemson University, it’s not surprising that South Carolina ranks 10th in education. How did the Palmetto State fare in the other categories? Not so well. The Deep Southern state ranks low in dental habits, visitors, and safety and crime.

 

Median income43Financial savvy39
Dental habits46Education10
Oral health40Safety/crime48
Overall well-being39% uninsured37
Cost of living29% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year44Total score402

 

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Working for a dental practice in Nevada may be a bit of a gamble. While the Silver State fares well in median income (29th), it earns mediocre rankings for the rest of the categories. You might want to try your luck working in another state before you go all in!

 

Median income29Financial savvy47
Dental habits37Education45
Oral health33Safety/crime42
Overall well-being35% uninsured44
Cost of living36% on Medicaid14
% who visited dentist in last year41Total score403

 

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Well Mountaineers, take solace in the fact that your state ranks high in uninsured rates (10th) and safety and crime (15th). But boy do things take a turn for the worse after that. The state receives last-place rankings for best oral health, percent of people who visited the dentist, education, percent of people on Medicaid AND overall well-being.

 

Median income48Financial savvy30
Dental habits33Education50
Oral health50Safety/crime15
Overall well-being50% uninsured10
Cost of living22% on Medicaid50
% who visited dentist in last year50Total score408

 

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Let’s start with the positives. Tennessee is known for its vibrant music scene and low cost of living, ranking seventh nationally. Now for the negatives… The Volunteer State ranks 45th or lower for dental habits, overall well-being and financial savviness, dropping the state toward the bottom of our list.

 

Median income42Financial savvy46
Dental habits48Education43
Oral health37Safety/crime43
Overall well-being45% uninsured34
Cost of living7% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year44Total score416

 

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While the Heart of Dixie fares well in terms of cost of living (12th), the state ranks 40th or lower in seven other categories. Alabama may not be the best location for a dental practice, but it’s a great state to catch a football game. Roll tide!   

 

Median income47Financial savvy42
Dental habits50Education44
Oral health44Safety/crime37
Overall well-being48% uninsured32
Cost of living12% on Medicaid27
% who visited dentist in last year40Total score416

 

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New Mexico may be known as the Land of Enchantment, but we’re not being fooled by these numbers. The state earns poor rankings for median income (45th), percent of people on Medicaid (50th) and financial savviness (49th). On the bright side, New Mexico ranks as one of the safer states, coming in 17th place.

 

Median income45Financial savvy49
Dental habits41Education39
Oral health32Safety/crime17
Overall well-being37% uninsured38
Cost of living41% on Medicaid50
% who visited dentist in last year37Total score426

 

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You may need to head to Bourbon Street to drown your sorrows with this ranking. While ranking decently in cost of living (20th), things go downhill for the state from there. Take solace in the fact that your state has delicious cuisine. Send us some beignets, please!

 

Median income44Financial savvy44
Dental habits43Education48
Oral health43Safety/crime40
Overall well-being43% uninsured43
Cost of living20% on Medicaid36
% who visited dentist in last year44Total score448

 

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Ranking last in median income and 49th in best oral health, education and percent of visitors, Mississippi drops to the bottom of our list. But look on the bright side – there’s no other place in the country cheaper to live than the Magnolia State.

 

Median income50Financial savvy48
Dental habits38Education49
Oral health49Safety/crime36
Overall well-being46% uninsured45
Cost of living1% on Medicaid42
% who visited dentist in last year49Total score453

 

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The good news? Arkansas is one of the cheapest states to live in, ranking fourth in cost of living. The bad news? Pretty much everything else… The Natural State comes in dead last for best oral health, safety and crime, and financial savviness, and ranks 49th in median income and overall well-being. At least you can still take pride in your national parks!

 

Median income49Financial savvy50
Dental habits39Education47
Oral health50Safety/crime50
Overall well-being49% uninsured29
Cost of living4% on Medicaid39
% who visited dentist in last year48Total score455

 

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