Even though they can be viewed as scary sometimes, dentists aren't bad people. In fact, they're quite essential to maintaining good health. Dentists are responsible for diagnosing and treating all sorts of problems that affect your teeth, gums and other parts of your mouth. So if a tooth is hurting, you know who to call.

While most dentists are general practitioners, there are quite a few different specialty dentists that are worth mentioning, such as, orthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, and the list goes on and on. In addition, many dentists work less than 40 hours a week. What a sweet deal!

What Does a Dentist Do

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.

Learn more about what a Dentist does

How To Become a Dentist

Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.

Learn More About How To Become a Dentist

Dentist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Dentist

Dentists in America make an average salary of $147,415 per year or $71 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $218,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $99,000 per year.
Average Dentist Salary
$147,415 Yearly
$70.87 hourly
$99,000
10 %
$147,000
Median
$218,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Dentist
How To Become a Dentist Career Overview

States With The Most Dentist Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active dentist jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where dentists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Dentist Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California287$131,595
2Florida250$136,511
3Georgia175$144,705
4Texas154$142,009
5New York149$128,906
6Wisconsin137$161,547
7Ohio115$158,033
8Arizona97$139,047
9Michigan90$153,633
10North Carolina75$137,561
11South Carolina64$133,091
12Illinois62$166,338
13Pennsylvania58$127,621
14Minnesota57$163,441
15Colorado52$135,466
16Washington52$136,789
17Tennessee51$117,408
18Virginia49$146,591
19Oklahoma47$142,913
20Oregon46$166,822
21Missouri46$140,574
22Massachusetts43$178,867
23Indiana43$144,725
24Alabama41$158,780
25Louisiana40$113,522
26Maryland39$147,758
27South Dakota35$122,885
28New Mexico34$136,623
29Connecticut33$169,975
30Nevada28$163,766
31Iowa27$130,740
32Montana26$140,587
33Mississippi22$151,803
34New Jersey21$144,072
35Arkansas20$141,646
36Kentucky20$102,462
37New Hampshire17$169,794
38Idaho14$161,745
39Alaska13$191,103
40Maine12$162,465
41North Dakota11$149,851
42Kansas11$137,151
43Nebraska10$150,586
44Utah8$125,761
45Vermont7$160,408
46West Virginia6$107,076
47Delaware5$135,324
48Wyoming4$119,255
49Rhode Island2$183,331
50Hawaii1$137,564

Dentist Education

Dentist Majors

23.5 %
8.0 %

Dentist Degrees

Bachelors

45.5 %

Doctorate

39.5 %

Masters

5.4 %

Top Colleges for Dentists

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,042
Enrollment
5,131

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,974
Enrollment
35,656

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

10. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

Top Skills For a Dentist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 27.5% of dentists listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Patients, 27.5%
  • Diagnosis, 9.5%
  • DDS, 8.5%
  • Work Ethic, 8.2%
  • Dentures, 3.8%
  • Other Skills, 42.5%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Dentist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Dentist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Dentist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Dentist Demographics

Dentist Gender Distribution

Female
Female
55%
Male
Male
46%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among dentists, 54.5% of them are women, while 45.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among dentists is White, which makes up 68.3% of all dentists.

  • The most common foreign language among dentists is Spanish at 50.1%.

Online Courses For Dentist That You May Like

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The goal is less trauma and less drama! This is an update that teaches superior methods for atraumatic extractions...

Oral Health Care for Autistic Children
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Recent studies indicate that the prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has risen dramatically over the past decades and a likely trend of continual global surge in autistic child patients. Children with ASD have oral sensitivities and daily oral hygiene management could be difficult. In caring for autistic children, it is essential to understand the unique behaviors and other possible comorbid conditions and in particular, to gain the confidence and cooperation of the patient before...

Minimal Intervention Dentistry for Paediatric Patients
edX (Global)

Dental caries is the most prevalent oral disease in children worldwide. It severely compromises the quality of life of children and their families. The cost of treating dental caries and its complications place a heavy financial burden on individuals, families and society. Minimal intervention dentistry (MID) is a philosophy of care that aims to conserve tooth tissues throughout a person’s life. It is an effective treatment approach with increasing acceptance among dental professionals. The MID...

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Best States For a Dentist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a dentist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Dentists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $191,103. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $183,331 and $178,867, respectively. While dentists would only make an average of $169,975 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Dentist Jobs:
13
Highest 10% Earn:
$249,000
Location Quotient:
1.64

2. Wisconsin

Total Dentist Jobs:
137
Highest 10% Earn:
$228,000
Location Quotient:
2.61

3. Nevada

Total Dentist Jobs:
28
Highest 10% Earn:
$230,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Full List Of Best States For Dentists

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Top Dentist Employers

Most Common Employers For Dentist

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Delta Companies$154,584$74.3275
2Gentle Dental$149,099$71.6893
3Family Dental$149,094$71.6844
4Dr. Dental$149,027$71.6553
5Dental Dreams$148,930$71.60456
6Dental Care Alliance$148,656$71.4749
7Great Expressions Dental Centers$148,603$71.4485
8Familia Dental$148,600$71.4486
9Aspen Dental$148,176$71.24371
10Kool Smiles$148,007$71.16409

Dentist Videos

Becoming a Dentist FAQs

Do Dentists Have A Good Salary?

Yes, dentists do have a good salary, with an average of $155,600 a year. This salary depends on where you are working and the type of dentistry you are performing.

Location is important to the salary of dentists because every state has a different salary due to the number of patients. Delaware, Alaska, and Rhode Island are the top highest paying states for dentists ranging from $264,440 to $254.190. The lowest paying states include Louisiana, Wyoming, and Nebraska, ranging from $135,080 to $124,020.

How Many Years Does It Take To Be A Dentist?

It takes at least seven years to become a dentist. After achieving a bachelor's degree, you must attend a dental program. There are accelerated programs, but it is very difficult to be accepted into these schools since they are few.

How Much Do Veneers Cost?

Veneers cost between $400 and $2,500 per tooth. A full set can range between $10,000 and $20,000. These amounts can vary depending on the type of veneer used.

Composite veneers are the least expensive option, usually costing around $400 to $1,500 per tooth. Porcelain veneers are the most expensive and cost $925 to $2,500 per tooth. The total cost is specific to how many veneers are used, and it is up to the patient how many veneers are wanted.

Is Being A Dentist A Good Career?

Yes, being a dentist is a good career. It is one of the most sought-after jobs since it will always be a necessary occupation. Those who are passionate about oral health find it to be a very rewarding job.

What Does A Dentist Wear?

A typical dentist wears a white jacket, scrubs, and personal protective equipment. While it may seem strange, what a dentist wears can have an impact on how they are perceived as a professional, and it is something that should be taken into consideration when pursuing a career as a dentist.

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