How much does a dentist make?

The average (mean) salary for non-specialized dentists is $180,830, which translates to $86.94 per hour.

Dentists who specialize can earn even more. Oral surgeons earn an average of $234,990, orthodontists earn $237,990 and prosthodontists earn $214,870. All other dentist specialties earn a mean annual income of $194,930.

That said, dentist wages range widely based on location and experience.

Among non-specialized dentists, the median income of the top-earning 10% is over $208,000 — more than double the salary of the lowest-earning 10%, who make less than $79,060.

Simply add Capital One Shopping to your browser, and shop like normal. This free tool does the work for you.

Install Capital One Shopping

States where dentists earn the most

Dentists tend to earn more in the northeast corner of the U.S. In Rhode Island, dentists earn 43.2% more than the national average.

The top five earning states are:

  1. Rhode Island: $258,920
  2. Vermont: $254,190
  3. Alaska: $242,850
  4. Maine: $236,060
  5. New Hampshire: $222,430

Metropolitan areas where dentists earn the most

Dentist salaries get even more jaw-dropping when you break data into top-paying metropolitan areas.

Here are the top eight areas for which full data is available:

  1. Dover-Durham, NH-ME: $286,540
  2. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: $278,790
  3. Portland-South Portland, ME: $278,390
  4. Gainesville, GA: $271,580
  5. Burlington-South Burlington, VT: $266,760
  6. Rapid City, SD: $262,070
  7. Longview, TX: $251,760
  8. New Haven, CT: $250,430

If you weren’t open to relocating, you may want to reconsider. In the Dover-Durham area, dentists earn over $100,000 more than the national average.

Plus, these high-paying dental zones don’t correlate with high cost of living cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Most people don't realize that with the right moves, you can become a millionaire — it's not a question of "if," it's a question of "when."

Read More

Average dentist salaries by state

Wondering how much dentists earn in your area? Here’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics mean salary data broken down by state:

  • Alabama: $172,050
  • Alaska: $242,850
  • Arizona: $199,660
  • Arkansas: $163,260
  • California: $160,300
  • Colorado: $184,550
  • Connecticut: $221,440
  • Delaware: N/A
  • Florida: $180,920
  • Georgia: $175,880
  • Hawaii: $202,890
  • Idaho: $206,360
  • Illinois: $198,480
  • Indiana: $171,730
  • Iowa: $169,990
  • Kansas: $170,710
  • Kentucky: $128,850
  • Louisiana: $145,980
  • Maine: $236,060
  • Maryland: $180,600
  • Massachusetts: $205,160
  • Michigan: $213,250
  • Minnesota: $213,310
  • Mississippi: $168,250
  • Missouri: $157,030
  • Montana: $171,950
  • Nebraska: $178,490
  • Nevada: $203,450
  • New Hampshire: $222,430
  • New Jersey: $177,570
  • New Mexico: $166,910
  • New York: $170,350
  • North Carolina: $178,980
  • North Dakota: $203,890
  • Ohio: $196,920
  • Oklahoma: $182,190
  • Oregon: $215,750
  • Pennsylvania: $155,360
  • Rhode Island: $258,920
  • South Carolina: $159,810
  • South Dakota: $187,850
  • Tennessee: $167,460
  • Texas: $184,410
  • Utah: $147,730
  • Vermont: $254,190
  • Virginia: $196,890
  • Washington: $187,520
  • West Virginia: $127,950
  • Wisconsin: $200,640
  • Wyoming: $133,750

How does the average salary for dentists compare to other jobs?

Pulling in an average of $180,830 per year is quite the achievement. But as far as dental jobs go, general dentists actually fall near the bottom of the list.

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon: $234,990
  • Orthodontist: $237,990
  • Prosthodontist: $214,870
  • Other specialized dentist: $194,930
  • General dentist: $180,830
  • Dental hygienist: $78,050

According to the American Dental Education Association, the average dental student graduated with $301,583 of student debt in 2021. So if you discover your humble $180,830-per-year salary doesn’t cut it, there are plenty of ways to specialize and grow.

Ready to start applying?

71% of candidates increased their salary when they found a job on ZipRecruiter, a user study shows.

Begin your search

Never overpay on Amazon again

Make sure to price-check online purchases with the help of Capital One Shopping. It’s totally free to use and takes less than a minute to set up.

Last year the service saved its customers over $160 million, and with just a few clicks you can start saving, too.

Download Capital One Shopping today and stop paying more than you have to for the exact same stuff.

About the Author

Mitchell Glass

Mitchell Glass

Freelance Contributor

Mitchell is a freelance contributor to

What to Read Next


The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.