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Updated on January 10, 2023
3 min read

Dentist Salaries in the U.S. by State

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Becoming a dentist requires 8 years of schooling: 4 years for a bachelor’s degree and another 4 years to earn a DMD or DDS in dental school. The road to a career as a dentist doesn’t come cheap.

Among all career options, ‘dentist’ occupies the 47th spot in the “100 Best Jobs” by the 2022 U.S. News & World Report.1 Two dental specialties (orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon) ranked in the top 55.

In May 2021, dentists made a median salary of $163,220.2 The highest-paid 10% earned at least $208,000 in the same year, while the lowest-paid 10% earned $63,880.2

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 6% employment growth for dentists between 2021 and 2031.3 Within these next 10 years, it is projected that approximately 5,100 jobs for dentists will open up.3

Salaries by Dental Specialty

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes several specialties within the dental profession.4 These dental specialties require different amounts of training and education, which can lead to differences in salaries. 

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

Dental Specialty Average Annual Salary (May 2021)
Endodontics $179,400
Dental Anesthesiology $247,550
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology $179,400
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology $179,400
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery $311,460
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics $267,280
Pediatric Dentistry $179,400
Periodontics $179,400
Prosthodontics $143,740
Public Health Dentistry $179,400

Related Job Salaries

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

Other hands-on patient care positions in the dental industry include:

  • Dental hygienists conduct standard cleanings and educate patients about their oral health
  • Dental assistants provide clinical and office support to dentists and dental hygienists

Related dental careers that don’t involve direct patient care include such as:

  • 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, 15

Job Average Annual Salary (May 2021)
Dental Assistants $42,510
Dental Hygienist $81,360
Dental Laboratory Technician $47,320
Dental Receptionist $38,660
Dental Sales Rep $62,890

10 Best Paying Cities for Dentists

Multiple factors affect dentist salaries. Experience, industry, specialization, education, and employer all play a role in determining how much a dentist makes.

Additionally, location is very important. Dentist salaries differ depending on the city or state.

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

City Average Annual Dentist Salary (May 2021)
Manchester, New Hampshire $276,510
Salinas, Califonia $234,410
Vallejo-Fairfield, California $229,800
Eugene, Oregon $228,750
Akron, Ohio $225,350
Gainesville, Florida $222,690
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California $221,210
Medford, Oregon $220,430
Portsmouth, New Hampshire-Maine $220,070
New Haven, Connecticut $227,390

Dentist Salaries by State

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

State Average Annual Dentist Salary (May 2021)
Alabama $176,910
Alaska $168,390
Arizona $175,030
Arkansas $184,540
California $165,950
Colorado $139,460
Connecticut $197,910
Delaware $233,860
Florida $164,370
Georgia $165,160
Hawaii $177,820
Idaho $124,750
Illinois $136,930
Indiana $159,240
Iowa $183,710
Kansas $188,240
Kentucky $136,480
Louisiana $148,060
Maine $187,460
Maryland $158,520
Massachusetts $175,140
Michigan $178,250
Minnesota $181,760
Mississippi $161,700
Missouri $167,240
Montana $152,770
Nebraska $146,170
Nevada $151,130
New Hampshire $225,140
New Jersey $177,570 (2020)
New Mexico $189,430
New York $170,800
North Carolina $189,980
North Dakota $161,080
Ohio $180,920
Oklahoma $165,380
Oregon $207,370
Pennsylvania $159,450
Rhode Island $206,600
South Carolina $132,830
South Dakota $150,630
Tennessee $169,610
Texas $150,060
Utah $134,570
Vermont $190,030
Virginia $162,750
Washington $182,050
West Virginia $139,200
Wisconsin $183,110
Wyoming $148,730

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 pay higher than others. 

The following are popular dentist employers with the average annual salary they pay their employees:16

Employer Average Annual Dentist Salary
Aspen Dental $143,000
Affordable Dentures-PC $137,500
Dental Group Ltd $110,000
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.16

Last updated on January 10, 2023
16 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 10, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. 100 Best Jobs.” U.S. News, 2022.
  2.  “Dentists: Pay.” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  3. Dentists: Job Outlook.” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  4. 2021 Periodic Review of Dental Specialty Education and Practice.” National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, American Dental Association, 2021.
  5. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1211 Anesthesiologists.” Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  6. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1023 Orthodontists.” Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  7. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1024 Prosthodontists.” Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  8. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1022 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.” Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  9. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1029 Dentists, All Other Specialists.” Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  10. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1021 Dentists, General." Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  11. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 29-1292 Dental Hygienists." Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  12. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 51-9081 Dental Laboratory Technicians." Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  13. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 31-9091 Dental Assistants." Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  14. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021 43-4171 Receptionists and Information Clerks." Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  15. “Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives.” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022.
  16. Average Dental Salary.” Payscale, 2022.
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