The average pay of a dentist in the United States is $172,350 per year. For Canadian dentists, the mean figure is C$140,000 and AU$97,221 for Australian dentists. In the United Kingdom, the dentist salary can range from roughly £38,0000 to £100,000 or more, depending on experience or setting in the private sector. The averages for Switzerland and Norway are, in U.S. Dollars, $97,797 and $93,100 respectively.
Learn how location, industry and experience affect the salary of a dentist.
Dentist Salary Influencers
Dentist salaries and compensation are driven by the dentist’s setting and experience. Those in private practice can generally earn more than those employed by a hospital or other agency. Experience and geography also play a role. In countries with universal health care systems, the pay of even self-employed dentists may be tempered by government regulations and schedules of pay.
Dentists tend to work as private practitioners rather than as employees. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that dentists’ offices in the United States had the highest employment numbers, at 90,190 as of May 2015. In Norway, 3,175 dentists worked in general (private) practice in 2013, compared with 1,109 in the public dental service.
In 2013, Switzerland had 4,300 dentists in private practice. Of those, approximately half were solo practitioners. The public dental service in Switzerland employed 200 dentists and 300 worked for universities.
Self-employed dentists generally have more autonomy to set their own fees. This freedom may be curtailed in countries with a national healthcare system. Salaries of dentists employed by a hospital, university or government-run service are influenced by the dentist’s experience.
2. Geographical Area
|Dentist Salary||Hourly Wage||Annual Wage|
|Norway||$44.76 USD||$93,100 USD|
Dentist Salary in the US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists earned an average salary of $172,350 as of May 2015. Those in dentist offices had the highest earnings, at $174,850. At least 25 percent of dentists made more than $187,200.
Dentist Salary in Canada
The Globe and Mail reports in 2014 that the average salary for Canadian dentists is $140,000. More than seven in 10 dentists are self-employed.
Dentist Salary in the UK
According to the National Health Service, the general range for experienced dentists spans from £38,000 to £83,000. Salaries of NHS-employed dentists run between £38,476 and £82,295. Consultants make between £76,001 and £102,465, which is the same as hospital consultants. Dentists in private practice can make north of £100,000 per year.
Dentist Salary in Australia
PayScale reports that dentists make on average AU$97,221 per year. Basic pay ranges between AU$58,733 and AU$197,259. Accounting for bonuses and profit-sharing, dentists earn from AU$59,232 and AU$201,355.
Dentist Salary in Switzerland
Total Dental states that the average pay for Swiss dentists is $97,797.12 in U.S. Dollars. According to the site, Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living on the globe.
Dentist Salary in Norway
According to Total Dental, the average salary for dentists in Norway is $93,100 in U.S. Dollars.
Normally, dentists can enter general practice upon certification without prior training. However, to practice in a specialty, the dentist must accumulate experience through training. For example, in the United States, prospective specialists must complete a two-to-four year residency, depending on the specialty. Those pursuing the specialty in oral surgery and medicine in Norway must work 5 years in training, and in three for other specialties.
The United Kingdom requires dentists to complete two years of foundation or core training upon graduation. Switzerland makes post-qualification experience of two years a prerequisite to treat patients under its national health insurance system. Four years is required to specialize in orthodontists and three years’ experience is needed to qualify for periodontics, prosthetics and oral surgery.
Dentists work full time. With the strong presence of private practices, most patients must see dentists during traditional daytime hours of 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dentists may open during evenings and weekends to accommodate schedules of patients. In particular, these nontraditional hours may help children and teenagers avoid absences from school.
For dentists working in hospitals, shifts may run longer and more likely into nights or weekends.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
Dentists primarily run their own practices. For salaried dentists, the benefit packages may be determined by the country’s employment or labor laws.
As with other health sector employees, dentists in Switzerland get at least four weeks of holiday time off per year. Employers pay for accident insurance coverage. Salaried dentists must participate in the national retirement system. The first two pillars combine to afford retired dentists 60 percent of their salary. Participation by self-employed dentists is optional. Men can draw at age 65 and women at age 64. Dentists employed through the UK’S National Health Service can get pension benefits starting at age 55. Australia affords superannuation payments of at least 9.5 percent of salaries. Other perks include 10 paid sick days per year and five weeks of paid leave per year.
The Public Dental Health Service in Norway provides their dentists a pension equal to 66 percent of their final salary. The service fixes retirement age at 65 years. Public sector dentists and others employed by practices can work to age 70 with approval. Those in private practice do not have a retirement age, but starting at age 75, must annually prove their fitness to practice.
Generally, dentistry should experience job growth. Increasing access to dental insurance and awareness of the connection between oral and general health spurs more demand for dentists. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 26,700 dentist jobs from 2014 to 2024.
Dentists may find private practice advantageous. In many countries, dentists can begin general practice without first completing residency training. While such is required for specialties, dentists who complete the training have the prospect of higher earnings. Private practice generally affords more compensation than work for hospitals or public services. Experience can play a role in setting pay. For example, in the United Kingdom, beginners earn £30,000 per year, while consultants or more experienced dentists can make over £100,000 in a year.
Individuals increasingly are appreciating how the condition of their teeth and gums affects other areas of health. Parents rely on dentists to help their children maintain healthy teeth. Teenagers may need braces to correct alignment issues before they fester into major problems in adulthood. These factors will continue to support demand and opportunities for dentists.
Dentists can begin general practice in most places upon graduation. While specialties require advanced training, dentists who achieve them might boost earning potential, especially in private practice. If you are also interested in the dental assistant salary or dental hygienist salary, you can find out more about the pay for these professions.