Dental practice research

ADA Health Policy Institute data reveal trends in dental practice structure, dentist income and reimbursement.
ADA Health Policy Institute infographic U.S. dental practice ownership declining 2005 vs 2019
Dentist practice ownership is declining

There has been a significant decline in the number of dentists who are practice owners. See findings by age, gender and state.

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See dentist affiliation with DSOs by gender, age, specialty, and state.
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Find out how dentist earnings and hours worked changed from 2019 to 2020.
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Download HPI’s latest report on dentist income, billings and expenses, and hours worked.
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Dental practice FAQs

What is a dentist’s average net income?

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).

What are a dentist’s average annual gross billings?

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).

Does the ADA have information on dentist income by state and city?

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.

What is the average salary for dental school faculty?
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.
What is the average salary of a public health dentist?
For information on the salary of dentists working in public health settings, refer to the Health Center Workforce Survey (PDF) of the National Network for Oral Health Access.
Does the ADA have income information for dentists during their first year?
No. Due to sampling at the national level, the number of dental school graduates each year is generally too small to report reliable numbers.
What is the salary for a recent dental school graduate?
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.
How many dentists are practice owners?

As of 2019, over three-fourths of U.S. dentists (76.1%) 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 (PDF) (HPI Infographic).

How many dentists are in dental service organizations (DSOs)?

As of 2019, about one in ten dentists (10.4%) in the U.S. are affiliated with a dental service organization, up from 7.4% in 2015.

Source: How Big Are Dental Service Organizations? (PDF) (HPI Infographic).

How many dental practice establishments (of any size) are there in the U.S.?

The latest data indicate that there are 134,620 dental practice establishments in the U.S.

Source: Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition.