Dentist Salaries in the U.S. by State

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Dentist Salaries in the U.S.

A person who wants to become a dentist would have to study for eight years: four years for a bachelor’s degree and another four years to earn a DMD or DDS in dental school. It goes without saying that the road to being a dentist doesn’t come cheap.

However, a career in dentistry is a smart choice. Among all career options, it occupies the 9th spot in the “100 Best Jobs” by the 2021 U.S. News & World report.1 Three dental specialties (orthodontist, prosthodontist, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon) ranked in the top 35.1 

In 2020, dentists made a median salary of $158,940. The highest-paid 10% earned at least $208,000 in the same year, while the lowest-paid 10% earned $79,060.3

Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 3% employment growth for dentists.2 Within this 10-year period, it is projected that approximately 4,000 jobs for dentists will open up.2

Salaries by Dental Speciality

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes several dental specialties within the dental profession.4 Dental professionals have the option to specialize in these different areas, providing treatment and management for different oral health problems.

These dental specialties require different amounts of training and education, which can lead to differences in salaries. 

Here are some of the dental specialties recognized by the ADA and their respective average annual salaries:4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Dental SpecialtyAverage Annual Salary
Endodontics$194,930
Dental Anesthesiology$278,460
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology$171,040
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology$194,930
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery$234,990
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics$237,990
Pediatric Dentistry$194,930
Periodontics$164,010
Prosthodontics$214,870
Public Health Dentistry$194,930

Related Job Salaries

There are several positions to pursue in the dental industry. While some jobs require years of extensive education and training, others do not. 

Several dental careers offer fulfilling opportunities to provide care for patients’ oral health without having the patients open their mouths.

Dental front office managers and receptionists all work to keep the dental office running efficiently. 

Dental sales representatives provide tools, equipment, and supplies needed by the dentist so they can do their work. 

Dental laboratory technicians work with the dentist to plan, design, and make dental prostheses for the patient.

Here are some dental-related jobs and their respective average annual salaries:11,12,13,14

JobAverage Annual Salary
Dental Assistants$42,310
Dental Front Office Manager$50,339
Dental Hygienist$78,050
Dental Laboratory Technician$45,230
Dental Receptionist$31,759
Dental Sales Rep$40,695

10 Best Paying Cities for Dentists

Several factors affect dentist salary. Experience, industry, specialization, education, and employer are huge factors that determine how much a dentist makes.

Additionally, location is very important. Depending on the city or state, dentist salaries differ.

Here are the top 10 best-paying cities for dentists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:10

CityAverage Annual Dentist Salary
Olympia-Tumwater, Washington> $208,000
Warner Robins, Georgia> $208,000
Dover-Durham, New Hampshire$286,540
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida$278,790
Portland-South Portland, Maine$278,390
Gainesville, Georgia$271,580
Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont$266,760
Rapid City, South Dakota$262,070
Longview, Texas$251,760
New Haven, Connecticut$250,430

Dentist Salaries by State

Below is a table with the average annual dentist salary in every state:10

StateAverage Annual Dentist Salary
Alabama$172,050
Alaska$242,850
Arizona$199,660
Arkansas$163,260
California$160,300
Colorado$184,550
Connecticut$221,440
Delaware$179,777
Florida$180,920
Georgia$175,880
Hawaii$202,890
Idaho$206,360
Illinois$198,480
Indiana$171,730
Iowa$169,990
Kansas$170,710
Kentucky$128,850
Louisiana$145,980
Maine$236,060
Maryland$180,600
Massachusetts$205,160
Michigan$213,250
Minnesota$213,310
Mississippi$168,250
Missouri$157,030
Montana$171,950
Nebraska$178,490
Nevada$203,450
New Hampshire$222,430
New Jersey$177,570
New Mexico$166,910
New York$170,350
North Carolina$178,980
North Dakota$203,890
Ohio$196,920
Oklahoma$182,190
Oregon$215,750
Pennsylvania$155,360
Rhode Island$258,920
South Carolina$159,810
South Dakota$187,850
Tennessee$167,460
Texas$184,410
Utah$147,730
Vermont$254,190
Virginia$196,890
Washington$187,520
West Virginia$127,950
Wisconsin$200,640
Wyoming$133,750

Popular Dentist Employers

How much a dentist earns partly depends on the employer. While all employers are required by law to follow federal, state, and local wage rates, some employers pay higher than others. 

The following are popular dentist employers with the average annual salary they pay their employees:15

EmployerAverage Annual Dentist Salary
Aspen $144,828
Aspen Dental$143,000
Affordable Dentures-PC$137,500
Dental Group Ltd$135,000
Indian Health Services$135,000
Methodist Healthcare Ministries$159,119
Morris Health Center$123,158
The Veterans Administration (US)$174,807

Self-Employed dentists have an average annual salary of $239,447, which is noticeably higher compared to dentists working with an exclusive employer.15

Resources

100 Best Jobs.” U.S. News, 2021.

How much does a dentist make?U.S. News, 2021.

"Dentists." Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Specialty Definitions." National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards.

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1211 Anesthesiologists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1023 Orthodontists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1024 Prosthodontists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1022 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1029 Dentists, All Other Specialists.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1021 Dentists, General." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 29-1292 Dental Hygienists." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 51-9081 Dental Laboratory Technicians." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 31-9091 Dental Assistants." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020 43-4171 Receptionists and Information Clerks." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average Dental Salary at Aspen.” PayScale.

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