100 stats on dental compensation

Here are 100 stats that show how compensation for dental professionals stack up:

Average dentist salary in the 10 largest U.S. cities

1. New York City: $188,967

2. Los Angeles: $183,481

3. Chicago: $187,424

4. Houston: $196,075

5. Phoenix: $184,196

6. Philadelphia: $186,841

7. San Antonio: $188,052

8. San Diego: $185,489

9. Dallas: $180,140

10. San Jose: $184,569

Average salary for five dental professions

Dentist: $172,328

Dental hygienist: $72,907

Dental assistant: $37,883

Oral surgeon: $307,569

Orthodontist: $303,698

Average hourly salary for six dental professions

General dentists: $80.37

Dental hygienists: $39.12

Dental assistants: $20.44

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: $149.74

Orthodontists: $128.50

All other speciality dentists: $86.25

Top paying industries for dental assistants, hygienists

Dental assistants:

1. State government, excluding schools and hospitals: $50,170

2. Specialty, excluding psychiatric and substance abuse: $48,210

3. Home health care services: $47,930

4. General medical and surgical hospitals: $47,180

5. Federal executive branch: $45,970

Dental hygienists:

1. Community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services: $84,770

2. Facilities support services: $83,410

3. Employment services: $83,330

4. Other ambulatory healthcare services: $82,510

5. Offices of dentists: $81,560 

Top paying cities for dental assistants, hygienists

Dental assistants:

1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.: $55,150

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Bloomington, Wis.: $55,020

3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: $54,590

4. Santa Rosa, Calif.: $52,550

5. Rochester, Minn.: $52,510

6. Barnstable, Mass.: $52,380

7. Boston-Cambridge, Mass.-Nashua, N.H.: $52,330

8. Bismarck, N.D.: $52,240

9. Fairbanks, Alaska: $51,940

10. Portsmouth, N.H.-Maine: $51,110

Dental hygienists

1. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, Calif.: $125,750

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: $122,660

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.: $119,320

4. Anchorage, Ala.: $116,270

5. Santa Rosa, Calif.: $115,730

6. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.: $114,370

7. Fairbanks, Alaska: $113,880

8. Napa, Calif.: $112,520

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.: $111,600

10. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.: $111,240

Top paying cities for dentists

1. Manchester, N.H.: $276,510

2. Salinas, Calif.: $234,410

3. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.: $229,800

4. Eugene, Ore.: $228,750

5. New Haven, Conn.: $227,390

6. Akron, Ohio: $225,350

7. Gainesville, Fla.: $222,690

8. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.: $221,210

9. Medford, Ore.: $220,430

10.Portsmouth, N.H.-Maine: $220,070

Five workplaces where dentists earn the most

Offices of health practitioners: 

Annual wage: $213,930

Hourly wage: $102.85

State government, excluding schools and hospitals: 

Annual wage: $193,800

Hourly wage: $93.17

Dental offices:

Annual wage: $183,340

Hourly wage: $88.15

Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals:

Annual wage: $172,820

Hourly wage: $83.09

Employment services:

Annual wage: $172,490

Hourly wage: $82.93

How orthodontist pay has evolved in the last five years

Here is the annual orthodontist salary from 2016-20, the most recent year data was available: 

2020: $237,990

2019: $230,830

2018: $225,760

2017: $229,380

2016: $228,780

Oral surgeon pay has declined in the last five years, data shows

Here is the annual oral surgeon salary from 2016-20, the most recent year data was available: 

2020: $234,990

2019: $237,570

2018: $242,370

2017: $242,740

2016: $232,870

How dental hygienist pay has changed in the last five years

Here is annual dentist hygienist salary from 2016-20, the most recent year data was available: 

2020: $78,050

2019: $77,230

2018: $75,500

2017: $74,680

2016: $73,440

How dental assistant pay has changed in the last five years

Here is the annual dentist salary from 2016-20, the most recent year data was available: 

2020: $42,310

2019: $41,170

2018: $39,770

2017: $38,690

2016: $37,890

How dental pay has changed in the last five years

Here is the annual dentist salary from 2016-20, the most recent year data was available:

2020: $180,830

2019: $178,260

2018: $175,840

2017: $174,110

2016: $173,860

Four dental jobs make US News' best-paying list for 2022

Here are the dental jobs, along with their median salaries, that made U.S. News and World Report's best-paying list for 2022:

Orthodontist — $208,000

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon — $208,000

Prosthodontist — $208,000

Dentist — $158,940

Dentist salary in 2020 vs. 2021, by state

1. The highest paying state for general dentists shifted from Rhode Island in 2020 to Delaware in 2021.

2. Salaries had the largest decrease in Idaho, dropping more than $80,000 from 2020 to 2021. The average pay was $206,360 in 2020 and $124,750 in 2021.

3. New Mexico had the highest salary increase, moving up from $166,910 in 2020 to $189,430 in 2021 for an increase of $22,520.

4. In 2020, there were 15 states with average salaries of more than $200,000. In 2021, there were just four states with average salaries of more than $200,000.

5. In total, 16 states saw salaries increase from 2020-21, while 32 states had a downturn.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

Featured Learning Opportunities

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Podcast