If You Could Move Your Dental Practice, Where Would You Go?

January 20, 2016
Bill Schu

For dentists, thinking about relocating can be daunting, because part of what defines you is your location. But what if... ? Where would you go if you could?

You have roots. Your patients, your employees, your colleagues, and your practice. Maybe family is nearby, too, or far enough away, if that’s your preference! For dentists, thinking about relocating can be daunting, because part of what defines you is your location. Perhaps not the physical building itself, but the town and the local community, your patient base, and the satisfaction and joy that come from taking care of patients throughout their lives.

But…what if…? Where would you go if you could? What factors would drive your decision? And where would you go, based on what’s most important to you?

Go Dutch?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists earned a median salary of $146,340 in 2013. But in some places, supply and demand, along with many other factors, make you a hotter commodity.

Have you thought about Holland? Not the country—the wonderfully nicknamed “Tulip City” near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Sure, the winters are cold, but dentists in Holland (which was founded by, you guessed it, Dutch Calvinist separatists in 1847), are among the highest paid in the country, earning an average salary of more than $250,000 per year. Sure, the winters are cold, but if you like pickles, Holland is home to the Heinz pickle factory. You can’t go wrong with that.

Southern Comfort?

If you want to be the only game in town, don’t even think about moving to Washington, DC, which has the largest number of dentists per capita in the United States, at roughly 100 dentists per 100,000 residents. If you really want to stand out, you’ll have to look below the Mason Dixon line. According to BLS statistics, 8 of the bottom 10 states in dentists per capita are in the South, including Texas, both Carolinas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, New Mexico, and the bottom two states, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Mississippi has fewer than 40 dentists per 100,000 people.

Best of Everything?

Proclaiming that any city is “the best” of something is subjective and frivolous, but that doesn’t stop the press from doing it anyway. Money’s 2015 “Best Places to Live” column cites the generally laudable Apex, NC, as the No. 1 place to live in the United States, citing a charming downtown area, good schools, and a burgeoning industry nearby in Research Triangle Park (which is a district 18 miles from Apex, not a park!). You’ll notice, too, some synergy here, as North Carolina is among those states with the fewest dentists per capita. Maybe it’s a sign.

Maui-Wowie?

If you’ve never been to Hawaii, let me just warn you that everything except for fresh fish is more expensive in Hawaii. And, to be honest, there are plenty of dentists in Hawaii, and in Maui in particular. But…it’s Maui. You should consider it anyway!

When you get there, try the opakapaka at Mama’s Fish House. You’ll know you made the right move.

What's your ideal practice vacation? Do you already practice there? Do you have big plans for a move? Comment below, or connect with us on our Twitter feed or Facebook page!

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