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HPI: Oral surgeons are 'consistently' highest earning specialists

February 16, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Oral surgeons are consistently the highest earning dental specialists while periodontists are the lowest earning dental specialists, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute.

In a research brief posted Feb. 16, the institute analyzed the market trends of five dental specialists: oral surgeons, endodontists, orthodontists, periodontists and pediatric dentists. Other specialties were not included in the study due to lack of adequate data, HPI said.


In its analysis, HPI looked at the average annual net income by specialty and found that oral surgeons were the highest earning specialists from 2000-15 followed by endodontists. It also found that from 2000-15, oral surgeons' earnings were highest in 2008 at $568,968 and lowest in 2010 at $399,171. By contrast, the other specialties had their highest earnings in the "years before the Great Recession" and their lowest earnings from 2011-15.

The brief also found:

  • The average net income and busyness levels for dental specialists appear to have stabilized from 2010-13 and the 2014 and 2015 levels "further indicate incomes are rebounding from their Great Recession lows."
  • Orthodontists have the lowest self-reported busyness levels while oral surgeons have the highest self-reported busyness levels.
  • A greater percentage of pediatric dentists work in dental service organizations while a lower percentage of periodontists work in DSO affiliated practices.
Read the full brief here.