- Distribution of Dentists According to Size of Dental Practice and Affiliation with a Dental Support Organization (DSO) (XLSX) (May 2023)
- 2020 Income, gross billings, expenses, and characteristics (XLSX) (Survey of Dental Practice report) (December 2021)
- General dentist income estimates from BLS (XLSX) (March 2021)
Dental practice research
There has been a significant decline in the number of dentists who are practice owners. See findings by dentists salary, age, gender and state.
More research and insights
- A closer look at disparities in earnings between white and minoritized dentists (November 2022)
- COVID-19 vaccine intention and hesitancy of dental hygienists in the United States Journal article (PDF) (February 2022)
- Infection prevention and control practices of dental hygienists in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study Journal article (PDF) (February 2022)
- Employment patterns of dental hygienists in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic: an update Journal article (PDF) (February 2022)
- Employment patterns of dental hygienists in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic Journal article (PDF) (February 2021)
- COVID-19 prevalence and related practices among dental hygienists in the United States Journal article (PDF) (February 2021)
- The staffing shortage is limiting dentistry's recovery. What's next? (January 2021)
- Pricing in commercial dental insurance and provider markets (August 2020)
- Consolidation in the dental industry: a closer look at dental payers and providers (PDF) (October 2019)
- Multiple opioid prescriptions among privately insured dental patients in the United States (July 2018)
- Earnings of employed and self-employed U.S. health care professionals, 2001 to 2015 (June 2018)
- Opioid prescribing practices from 2010 through 2015 among dentists in the United States (April 2018)
- Our dental care system is stuck: and here is what to do about it (March 2018)
- The relationship between education debt and career choices in professional programs (November 2017)
- Practice ownership is declining (September 2017)
- Trends in the earnings gender gap among dentists, physicians and lawyers (April 2017)
- Time to talk about the gender gap in dentist earnings (April 2017)
- Do dentists from rural areas practice in rural areas? (December 2016)
- Why are payment rates to dentists declining in most states? (September 2016)
- The effect of education debt on dentists’ career decisions (November 2015)
- Practice settings and dentists' job satisfaction (August 2015)
- Practice ownership among dentists continues to decline (March 2022)
- Dentist retirements increase (PDF) (March 2022)
- Dentist migration across state lines (PDF) (February 2021)
- Dentist earnings and busyness in the U.S. (PDF) (December 2020)
- Do dentist practice patterns vary by dental school of graduation? (PDF) (July 2020)
- Emergency department visits for dental conditions - a snapshot (PDF) (April 2020)
- How competitive are dental insurance markets? (PDF) (November 2019)
- How do general dentist incomes compare across states? (PDF) (May 2019)
- Opioid prescribing by dentists (PDF) (January 2018)
- Dental workforce shortages: Data to navigate today's labor market (PDF) (October 2022)
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect dentist earnings? (PDF) (September 2021)
- Projected supply of dentists in the United States, 2020-2040 (PDF) (May 2021)
- Considering large group practices as a vehicle for consolidation in dentistry (PDF) (April 2016)
- Physicians dissatisfied with current referral process to dentists (PDF) (March 2016)
- Dental care within accountable care organizations: challenges and opportunities (PDF) (March 2016)
- Dental care in accountable care organizations: insights from 5 case studies (PDF) (June 2015)
- The Evolving Dental Practice Model (May 2023)
- State of the dental economy: Q3 2022 update (October 2022)
- Dental workforce shortages: Data to navigate today's labor market (October 2022)
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect dentist earnings? (September 2021)
- The gender pay gap in medicine, law and dentistry (April 2017)
- Webinar: How big are dental service organizations? (March 2017)
Dental practice FAQs
According to the Survey of Dental Practice, the average net income for dentists in private practice in 2020 was $170,160 for general dentists and $323,780 for specialists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average annual income for general dentists is $180,830.
Sources: Income, Gross Billings, Expenses, and Characteristics (XLSX) (Survey of Dental Practice report) and General Dentist Income Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Related item: Dentist Earnings and Busyness in the U.S. (PDF) (HPI Infographic).
The average gross billings per dentist in private practice in 2020 was $666,060 for general practitioners and $935,760 for specialists.
Source: Income, Gross Billings, Expenses, and Characteristics (XLSX) (Survey of Dental Practice report).
No. The Survey of Dental Practice only provides information on a national level and by the nine U.S. Census regions. For state and metropolitan-level dentist income data, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The ADA does not collect this information. Contact the American Dental Education Association and ask about their most recent Faculty Salary Survey, which is available for purchase.
For information on the salary of dentists working in public health settings, refer to the Health Center Workforce Survey of the National Network for Oral Health Access.
Based on combined responses from the 2021 Survey of Dental Practice, the estimated median annual net income for new general practitioners in private practice is $137,000, limited to dentists with dental school graduation years 2017-2019. Among this group of dentists, half earned between $100,000 and $165,000 annually.
Source: 2021 Survey of Dental Practice. Note: Due to a low number of responses, these estimates should be used with caution.
As of 2021, less than three-fourths of U.S. dentists (73.0%) are private practice owners, down from 84.7% in 2005. Practice ownership is down among various dentist age and gender groups.
Source: Dentists' Practice Ownership is Declining (HPI Infographic).
As of 2022, more than one in ten dentists (13%) in the U.S. are affiliated with a dental support organization.
Source: Distribution of Dentists According to Size of Dental Practice and Affiliation with a Dental Support Organization (DSO) (XLSX) (Data Report)
The latest data indicate that there are 134,620 dental practice establishments in the U.S.