The 10 Best and 5 Worst Places to work as a Dentist in 2021

We take a look at the top 10 best and bottom 5 worst places to be a dentist in 2021.

There are no lack of top 10 lists out there. Lists rank everything from the top 10 presidents (of course George Washington is number one) to the top 10 ice cream toppings (of course caramel is number one)to the top 10 James Bond movies (of course Goldfinger is number one). There is even a book compiling top 10 lists.

This is our yearly entry into the fray, ranking the top 10 communities for dentists in 2021.

While some top 10 lists are purely subjective, the product of personal opinion (that’s the only reason why Moonraker could have made it onto that critic-ranked James Bond list, but For Your Eyes Only didn’t). We made ours more objective

There are a lot of factors that go into establishing which are the best – and which are the worst – communities for dentists to live and work. Certainly, money matters. But, while dentists must have some level of compassion for their fellow man, not many are doing the work out of sheer altruism. There’s more to it than just that. When evaluating cities’ merits, we have to look at a host of factors.

We started by looking at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s data which gave us the top-earning cities in America – BLS reported data for 396 cities and areas in 2020. But, The cost of living varies depending where in the country one lives. For instance, things like food, housing, and discretionary spending are more expensive in San Francisco, California than they are inBeckley, West Virginia.As such, we added the AdvisorSmith Cost of Living Index as a factor in the calculations.

However, there is more to life than making money (nationwide, general dentists earned an average of $180,830 in 2020). That’s when we started adding such factors as overall economy, public safety and so forth. Our complete list of metrics is:

  • Annual wage
  • Location quotient (this is a ratio comparing the area’s number of dentists to the national average. Essentially, the lower the location quotient, the less competition.)
  • Cost-of-living index (this is a ratio comparing the cost of living in a certain area to the national average. Some areas are more expensive to live in than others, so the lower the COLI, the less expensive it is to live in an area.)
  • Community health
  • Education
  • Economy
  • Public safety
  • Stress (including work-related, family-related, money-related and health and safety-related stress)
  • Oral health
  • Life expectancy

Included, where available, is information about the total number in that profession for the community. Nationwide, there were a total of95,920 dentists in 2020.

In addition to BLS, we refined our rankings from personal finance website Wallethub.com, U.S. News & World Reports’s Healthiest Communities study, and data from centers For Disease Control for longest life expectancy, by state.

We compiled all the rankings and then honed the list from there. Whoever got the lowest score earned the highest position on the list; whoever got the highest score, well, we talk about them also.

With no further ado…

Bottom Five

With any top 10 list, there is a natural inclination to say, “Well, if those are the best places to live and work, then which of the worst?” Let’s jump past 380 or so other cities and get to the bottom 5 cities.