How Much Does an Average Dentist Earn?

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

After years of hard work, you finally saved enough money to quit your day job and pursue your dream: becoming a dentist. Dentistry has been your passion since high school, when you read every dental book you could get your hands on. You got excellent grades in school, graduated as valedictorian and have always been the most trustworthy person you know. You really believe that people would trust you with their lives–as they should–and will choose to make you their very own family dentist as well. This is it. This is your chance. But wait…how much does an average dentist earn? 

Most people would shy away from fixing their own car, changing their own light bulbs, or solving their own plumbing problems, but when it comes to dentists—people are more likely to think they know how much a dental practice earns. Let’s get real: dentistry is not brain surgery. It’s not needed to know how many fillings it takes to fill the Grand Canyon and how much it costs in order to be a dentist. So how much does an average dentist make?

If you’ve ever wondered how much a dentist earns and if you can reach an average dentist salary, then you’re going to love this. You don’t have to be a dentist to enjoy the content below, although some of the stats may surprise you!.

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How much do dentists make if they own their own practice? How much a dentist makes varies based on the country. The article provides you with the latest information on how much dentist make in different countries.

Get clear details on how much does a dentist make a month, dentist salary in US per month, how much does a dentist make a year, how much do orthodontist make a year, how much does a dentist make an hour, dentist average salary. You can get more in related articles on Collegelearners.

How much do dentists make if they own their own practice

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According to, the average net salary for dental practice owners in the US in 2018 was $197.2k for general dentists and $330.2k for specialist dentists. states that the average is slightly lower at $178.6k for a dentist running a private practice, with highs of $366.5k and lows of $25.5k. claims the average is even lower, at $150.3k, with highs of $170.75k and lows of $139.4k.

Neither nor confirms whether the figures are for a general or specialist dentist. But comparing their numbers to ADA’s numbers, we can safely assume they refer to a dental practice owner who works as a general dentist.

As we did with an associate dentist salary, we’ll consider the average according to these figures for a dental practice owner salary. That makes the average salary of a dental practice owner $175.4k. A dental practice owner with an office in a high-income area can expect to earn up to $268.6k, while a dental practice owner with a practice in a low-income area can expect to earn as little as $82.45k.

Dental associate salary vs dental practice owner salary

The average dental associate salary is $167,650. The average dental practice owner salary is $175,361. 

When the figures are right in front of you, it might look obvious that the best choice is to run your own dental practice. But being a business owner in the dental industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The prestigious position comes with a lot of responsibilities, overheads and costs.

Whether you work as a general or specialist dentist, the average dental practice owner does make more than an associate dentist. But a lot of this extra cash is earned by taking on the additional responsibilities and working hours of a business owner — not just a dentist. 

How much does a dentist make a week


In addition to offering diagnostic assessment and preventive oral health care, dentists fix and pull teeth. Patience is essential when working with anxious patients who would rather be just about anywhere else. The job requires extensive training and an ability to perform delicate procedures with steady hands. The annual median salary of dentists is more than four times higher than the annual median salary of all occupations. Compensation reflects years of education and a high level of responsibility.

Job Description
You may want to consider a career in dentistry if you are fascinated by dental science and communicate well. Using X-ray machines, lasers, drills, probes and other diagnostic tools, dentist expertly assess the condition of teeth and gums. A typical day involves reviewing X-rays, examining patients, screening for oral cancer, applying sealants and whitening agents, administering anesthetics, removing decay and filling cavities. Serious problems require consulting with patients about treatment options, such as root canal, crown, bridge or tooth extraction. General dentists refer patients to specialists, like orthodontists, if children need braces, for instance. If you decide to open your own practice, you will also be responsible for finding an office, buying equipment, hiring and supervising staff, insurance billing and overseeing financial operations.

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