The Monthly Salary of a Dentist

A dentist must attend dental school for four years before he can start practicing.
A dentist must attend dental school for four years before he can start practicing. (Image: teeth image by JASON WINTER from

A dentist is a highly skilled medical practitioner who specializes in diagnosing, treating and trying to prevent diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues of the mouth. He may be called upon to fill cavities, fashion and fit replacement teeth, take X-rays or simply clean decay. He must have excellent communication skills and a personable manner. His salary reflects the skill required by the role, but can vary according to several factors.


PayScale lists the annual average salary for dentists working in the United States at between $92,596 and $151,493. This translates into an average monthly income of $7,716 to $12,624. These figures calculate basic pay only; the individual dentist may have varying levels of augmentations, such as pension and paid leave.

Salary by Experience

The more years of experience, the greater the dentist's earning potential. While PayScale lists the average monthly salary for practitioners with less than a year's experience as between $6,736 and $8,821, the level for those with 20 years or more rises to between $8,176 and $14,437.

Salary by Employer

Dentists can work for variety of employers. These include hospitals, community health centers and private companies. The most lucrative sector, according to PayScale, is the self-employed. The average monthly income for these practitioners is listed at $7,984 to $12,684.

Salary by Location

Where the dentist practices also influences his earning potential. As an example, PayScale puts New York State at he lower end of the scale, with the most meager average monthly earnings: $6,728 to $9,955. Georgia and Texas offer the highest upper level of pay, both listed at $12,641.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16 percent rise in demand for dentists until the year 2018. An aging population requiring dental treatment for longer than previous generations will drive this demand. As such, dentists should continue to receive very competitive monthly salaries in the future.

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