11 best small cities for dentists facing student loan debt

Benchmarking

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More dentists than before leave school with large sums of student loan debt. Some choose to venture into private practice while other dentists partner with dental service organizations.

It may, however, be a challenge to determine where to practice. Student Loan Planner analyzed data to determine the 11 best small cities for dentists with student loans.

Using data from the American Dental Association, Student Loan Planner determined the dentist to population ratio for each state between 2001 and 2017, removing the top half most saturated states. The organization then used Ziprecruiter to find the average salaries of dentists in each state.

To come up with cities that are the most desirable to practice dentistry, Student Load Planner had three qualitative criteria for locations:

• Population is relatively stable or increasing
• Can't be within a one-hour drive of dental school
• Can't be within a one-hour drive of a major airport

Additionally, the organization used rankings of per capita income from the Census Bureau for all Metropolitan Statistical Areas. In turn, here are the top 11 small cities for dentistry:

1. Parkersburg, W. Va.
2. Rapid City, S.D.
3. Owensboro, Ky.
4. Dubuque, Iowa
5. Cheyenne, Wyo.
6. Lake Charles, La.
7. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
8. Decatur, Ala.
9. Mansfield, Ohio
10. Jackson, Tenn.
11. Enid, Okla.

To learn more about each city, click here.

More articles on benchmarking:
Dentists, oral surgeons among U.S. News 'Best-Paying Jobs'
Dentists rank No. 4 on U.S. News '100 Best Jobs'
72% of dentists most concerned about declining reimbursement rates: 6 stats to know

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