Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Salary Numbers for Dentists

July 10, 2017
Mary Ellen Cagnassola

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ released the latest data on annual salaries for dental health care providers. We cut through all the numbers to provide you with what you want – and need -- to know. Continue below to find out which specialists make the most, where dentists are needed, top-paying industries and more.

Dentists across the country are employed in a number of fields, not just dental practices.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were more than 105,000 practicing dentists in 2016, a number expected to grow by about 21,000 over the next seven years. With providers earning an average of $76.81 per hour, dentistry is looking as stable as ever. Let's take a look at a few of the areas we think will be most interesting to you.

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Each area of dental care is as important as the next. But when it comes to salary, specialists are unsurprisingly the highest earners. Still, even the lowest earners (prosthodontists) bring home 84 percent more than the median U.S. household income, which is nothing to balk at.

Salaries

· Orthodontists: $208,000 or more

· Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: $208,000 or more

· Dentists, all other specialists: $173,000

· Dentists, general: $153,000

· Prosthodontists: $126,000

BLS provides three areas of industry-specific data: industries with the highest level of employment, industries with the highest concentration of employment and top-paying industries for dentists. Dental practices make the list across the board, but the other places dentists are working may be surprising. Outpatient care centers, physician offices, state government and hospitals have both the highest levels and the highest concentration of employment in dentistry. Dentists working in residential facilities that treat substance abuse, intellectual disabilities and mental health earn the most on

average per year.

Top Paying Industries (annual mean wage)

· Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities: $184,620

· Dental Offices: $176,470

· Employment Services: $173,030

· State Government (OES Designation): $167,050

· Management of Companies and Enterprises: $166,280

Location, location, location.

Employment of dentists is strong, particularly in large states like Texas and California. However, the states with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in dentistry differ. New Mexico, Michigan, California, Massachusetts and Arizona boast the highest number of jobs relative to population size. Employment per thousand jobs for these states stands at .97, .95, .94, .93 and .93, respectively.

Number of dentists by state

· California: 14,000

· Texas: 8,420

· New York: 7,710

· Florida: 5,900

· Illinois: 4,540

Top paying states for dentists (annual mean wage)

· Delaware: $234,130

· North Carolina: $236,020

· Alaska: $234,240

· New Hampshire: $220,480

· Nevada: $210,690

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