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How Much Money Can Dental Professionals Expect to Make?

When it comes to choosing a career, salaries are always an important consideration. If you're thinking about entering the dental profession, you're probably wondering how much money you can expect to make. Here's a breakdown of typical salaries for some different dental professionals.

General Dentists

As a general dentist, you can expect to earn a median salary of $159,000 per year. Of course, your exact salary will depend on factors like your location, experience, and the type of dental practice you work in.

For example, solo practitioners tend to earn less than dentists who work in large group practices. Likewise, dentists who work in high-cost areas like New York City or San Francisco will usually earn more than those working in smaller cities or rural areas.

Dental Assistants

Dental assistants play a vital role in dental practices, performing tasks like sterilizing equipment, preparing patients for procedures, and taking x-rays. The median salary for dental assistants is $39,800 per year. Again, your exact salary will depend on factors like your experience and location.

You can earn more by working in a larger dental practice or by relocating to a high-cost area. Some dental assistants also choose to specialize in a particular area, like orthodontics or oral surgery, which can lead to higher earnings.

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and providing patients with oral health education. The median salary for dental hygienists is $76,220 per year. What's more, the demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026.

This is due in part to the increasing emphasis on preventive care and the growing number of aging baby boomers who are retaining their natural teeth. As a result, dental hygienists should have no trouble finding employment in the years to come.


Orthodontists specialize in correcting dental alignment issues using devices like braces and retainers. The median salary for orthodontists is $208,000 per year. With that said, orthodontists tend to earn more than other types of dental professionals because they require additional training beyond dental school.

After completing dental school, orthodontists must complete a two to three-year residency program in orthodontics. As a result, they usually have more experience and expertise than general dentists or dental specialists.


Periodontists focus on the treatment of gum disease and the placement of dental implants. The median salary for periodontists is $232,870 per year. They have to undergo additional training beyond dental school, completing a three-year residency program in periodontics.

Like orthodontists, the extra training and experience that periodontists have usually leads to higher salaries. However, it's important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the type of dental practice you work in and the geographical location.

Oral Surgeons

Oral surgeons perform surgery on the mouth, jaws, and face. They also treat conditions like TMJ disorders and cleft palates. The median salary for oral surgeons is $208,000 per year. In addition to dental school, oral surgeons must complete a four-year residency program in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Due to the extra training and experience that they have, oral surgeons tend to be some of the highest-paid dental professionals.


As you can see, salaries for dental professionals can vary widely depending on your specialty and other factors. A lot of professionals start out as dental assistants in order to gain experience in the field before moving on to other roles.

Whatever your specialty, though, you can be sure that a career in dentistry will be both rewarding and lucrative as you increase your skills and gain more knowledge.

If you're looking for a new job in the dental industry, Stynt can help. With our easy-to-use platform, you can find dental jobs in your area and apply in just a few clicks.


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