Dentists


Overview

Introduction

Dentists maintain their clients' teeth through such preventive and reparative practices as extracting, filling, cleaning, or replacing teeth. They perform corrective work, such as straightening teeth, and treat diseased tissue of the gums. They also perform surgical operations on the jaw or mouth, and make and fit false teeth. Approximately 155,000 general dentists, including 18,100 specialists, work in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$201,860

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

Medical Degree


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Experience

Internship or residency


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Skills

Business Management


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Personality Traits

Helpful

Earnings

Beginning dentists, faced with the expense of buying equipment and the problem of establishing a practice, generally earn enough to cover expenses and little more. However, income rises rapidly as the dentist's practice becomes established. According to the American Dental Association, in 2018, the average net income of dentists who owned their own general practice was $201,860 a year, while sp...

Work Environment

Because most dentists are in private practice, they are free to set their hours and establish offices according to their individual tastes. Most dentists work from four to five days a week, many times averaging 40 or more hours. They spend about 90 percent of their time treating patients. The beginning dentist must set aside expensive decorating plans in favor of suitable equipment, but most de...

Outlook

Employment of dentists is expected to grow faster than the average for all careers from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Many positions will open as a result of the need to replace the large number of dentists who reach retirement age or who choose to stay in practice while reducing their office hours. Additionally, as people live longer and keep their teeth (due to bett...

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