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Kevin Henry is the group editorial director for Advanstar Dental Media and has more than 15 years of experience in the dental publications field. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Also, you can follow him on Twitter (@kgh23).
If you ask most dental professionals what they enjoy most about their jobs, many will quickly say, “Interacting with the patients.” There’s no question that social interaction with patients and seeing their lives transformed through improving their oral health is an awesome thing that keeps many of you coming back to the practice day after day after day. However, at the end of the day, we all like to know that our financial needs and wants are being taken care of as well.
Working with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have compiled a list of the average hourly and annual wages for dentists, hygienists, and assistants for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The payroll for workers is reported before deductions of any kind, e.g. for old-age and unemployment insurance, withholding tax, union dues or retirement plans. Included in the payroll reports is pay for overtime, vacations, holidays and sick leave paid directly by the firm. Bonuses, commissions, and other types of non-wage cash payments are excluded unless they are earned and paid regularly (at least once a month). Employee benefits paid by the employer, as well as tips and payments in kind, are excluded."
“I found it interesting that Delaware has the highest hourly wage, with North Dakota coming in very close behind it,” said Dr. John Comisi, a member of the Dental Products Report Editorial Advisory Board. “It would be interesting to consider the cost of living in relationship to these salaries for the various states listed as well.”
Great idea, Dr. Comisi! If you’d like to see how your state compares to others in terms of cost of living, click here.
"In this highly competitive market is is critical for us as dentists to be wise businesspersons. I plan to use this information to make sure my wages and benefits are competitive to retain my trusted team members," said Dr. Bob Mongrain, a member of DPR's Editorial Advisory Board. "Although averages have their limitations, it is wonderful to know that dentistry is a great profession that allows me to support my family well.
"Some dentists may feel discouraged or overwhelmed by some of the information here, especially if your results are significantly off of the averages. The best plan is take advantage of the information available to you to analyze fees and adjust as necessary. The second step is to work with your team to develop action plans to improve your patient care, improve your results, and then be able to reward yourself and your team with above average compensation."
As Dr. Mongrain mentioned, if you’re a dentist reading this, now might be a great time to look at the fees you’re charging in your dental practice and seeing how they match up against regional and national averages. You can check out a listing of national fees and regional fees, thanks to our partnership with Sikka Software by clicking on the appropriate links.
If you’re a team member reading this, know that, in future editions of Modern Hygienist and Modern Dental Assistant, we’ll be expanding upon how these valuable team members can make a bigger impact within the dental practice (which will hopefully equate into a bigger impact on their paychecks as well).
“For Missouri, Kentucky, and Hawaii, because those are the states I know best, it seems reasonable,” said Tija Hunter, an Editorial Advisory Board member for Modern Dental Assistant and Dental Products Report. “I think it would be interesting to see how the wages for a dental assistant just starting his or her career would compare to a dental assistant who has been in the field for 20 years.”
To see the dentist, hygienist, and assistant salary numbers for the Northeast region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please click here.
To see the dentist, hygienist, and assistant salary numbers for the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, please click here.
To see the dentist, hygienist, and assistant salary numbers for the Southeast region, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, please click here.