October 30, 2016


Dentist Job Description

Dentists are licensed professionals specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of teeth, gums and other areas in the mouth. They also offer advice on the proper way to care for teeth and gums, including diet choices that can affect a patient’s oral health.

Typically, patients receive regular checkups where the dentist will examine the inside of the mouth for any problems with the teeth, jaw or gums. During the visit, a dentist may clean or remove teeth, fill cavities and repair fractured teeth. Some dentists may also apply braces to correct overbite issues. Others also whiten teeth and write prescriptions for antibiotics.

To perform these tasks, a dentist uses different types of equipment such as drills, x-ray machines, forceps, brushes, probes and mouth mirrors. Computer technologies such as digital scanners are also used to perform dental services.

In private practice, the dentist may also oversee administrative tasks and supervise a staff of dental hygienists, lab technicians, dental assistants and receptionists.

Dentist Salary Statistics as of 2015

Average annual salary for a Dentist is $123140 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest salary recorded was $235845. The lowest salary reported was $66458. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Median hourly wage for a Dentist is $61.23 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest hourly rate recorded was $117.28. The lowest hourly rate recorded was $33.05. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Bonuses for a Dentist are based on the years of experience using statistics from the U.S. as of 2015. The average bonus recorded was $1500 from people with 15+ years of experience. The average bonus recorded was $2830 from people with under 1 year of experience.

These are the highest paying states for a Dentist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
California – $51,979 – $221,476
Florida – $48,958 – $251,638
Illinois – $64,134 – $300,667
Missouri – $98,870 – $275,000
New York – $29,361 – $257,605
Pennsylvania – $57,325 – $194,875
Texas – $81,161 – $246,581

These are the highest paying cities for a Dentist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
Los Angeles, California –
Chicago, Illinois –
New York, New York –
Houston, Texas –
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania –
Indianapolis, Indiana –

This chart outlines the average annual salary of a Dentist from the past 5 years. In 2015 the average annual salary was $123140 while in 2007 it was just $114197.86

Specialized Dentistry Fields

Many dentists work as general practitioners to treat a variety of dental issues. Others may also specialize in one of the following areas:

• Endodontists – perform root canal therapy to treat diseased or injured teeth.
• Orthodontists – prevents or corrects misaligned teeth that may cause gaps, overbites or underbites.
• Oral Pathologists – diagnoses serious oral diseases such as lesions and cancer.
• Pediatric Dentists – treats the dental needs of children.
• Prosthodontists – replaces and restores lost or damaged teeth.
• Periodontists – focuses on the diagnosis and prevention of periodontal disease, which affects the gums.
• Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons – treats defects and injuries to the jaw, teeth, mouth and face through surgery.

Work Environment

Some dentists have a private practice where they work alone or employ a small staff. Others may have partners who offer the same or advanced dental services to patients. A few dentists may work for established dentists.

Usually, dentists work in dental offices or clinics and wear safety gear such as gloves, masks and glasses to protect patients and themselves from possible infectious diseases. A significant amount of time is spent standing and using handheld equipment, which requires good dexterity.

Most work full-time hours during the week days and Saturdays. For some, it is not unusual to work 10-hours four to six days each week. There are some dentists who also work during evening hours to meet patient needs. Actual hours worked may vary based on the type of practice and geographical location.

How to Become a Dentist (Requirements)

All states require dentists to receive a license after graduating from an accredited dental school, and passing written and practical examinations. Additionally, dentists who wish to practice in a specialty must receive a license in that area. This requires an additional two or four years of education and residency after dental school. A special state exam may also be required.

Requirements may vary among dental schools but students should have at least a bachelor’s degree before being accepted. The Dental Acceptance Test is required before applying to dental school. This test and other factors such as recommendations and GPA are considered for admission.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for dentists is expected to exceed the average growth for all occupations in the U.S. By 2020, this profession projected to increase by 21 percent. This is largely due to the complicated needs of most baby-boomers. As generations pass, the likelihood of people keeping their teeth increases, which will impact the need for more dental care. More studies are linking overall health to oral health, which will also increase public demand for dental services.

Although the dental profession will see an increase, the number is not enough to meet the demand because of limited patient access. Seeking dental care largely depends on whether patients have dental insurance. New or expanded dental coverage may increase patient visits to the dentist. Additionally, the trend in popular cosmetic procedures and advances in less invasive procedures will continue.

Gender Statistics

Related Jobs



Based on our stats gathered across the U.S. 71% of Dentists were males while 29% were females. These numbers are based on averages across all states combined. Some individual states may have a much different ratio however.

Past Jobs

Student Services Coordinator
$25,314 – $49,883
Dental Assistant
$20,559 – $41,070
Small Business Owner / Operator
$24,370 – $175,122

Future Jobs

General Dentist
$73,558 – $210,278
Dental Assistant
$20,559 – $41,070
Senior Dentist
$98,916 – $254,853

Dentist Jobs






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