Do dentists feel fairly compensated?

Where dentists live plays a huge role in how they are compensated.

The average salary for dentists in the U.S. is $146,322, according to career website Zippia. This data was last updated Feb. 9.

Two voices from the dental industry weighed in to answer: "Do you feel like you are fairly compensated when examining the cost of living in your state?"

Editor's note: These responses were edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

Robert Trager, DDS. Dentist for employees at JFK and LaGuardia airports (New York City): States like California, New York and Texas have the most practicing dentists and the most competition. Their salaries are competitive but may not be the highest. In states with less dentists per capita and in other states that have many underserved areas, dentists can command a much higher salary for the need for their skills. This also would include dental hygienists and dental assistants. Salaries from DSOs will always be competitive no matter what state you practice in. If you are a solo practitioner or have a partner, then you will always be compensated fairly because you will be in charge of your salary and because you don't have to negotiate with a third party.

Lee Harris, DDS. Harris Dental Solutions (Los Angeles): As a dental practice management consultant, I have a number of clients with various perspectives on compensation. For the most part, dental practice owners feel that for the amount of stress that ownership brings, there is never enough compensation. With that said, in my experience, I believe that most owners feel that the last few years have been quite challenging and that their compensation has decreased somewhat and older owners may be ready for early retirement. On the other hand, there seem to be many younger entrepreneurs ready to purchase these generally successful practices.

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