As a health-related professional career, dentistry offers a variety of challenging roles to today's practitioners. Each brings the satisfaction of providing preventive and restorative oral health care to a population with ever-changing needs. The arenas of dental practice include the armed services, dental education, hospital practice, private practice, and public health. Advanced training programs are also available in dental anesthesiology, dental public health, endodontics, esthetic dentistry, implantology, oral surgery, oral pathology, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.
- The average net income for an independent private practitioner who owned all or part of his or her practice in 2006 was $202,930 for a general practitioner and $329,980 for a specialist. (according to the American Dental Association)
- Employment of dentists is projected to grow about as fast as average (9%) for all occupations through 2016. Although employment growth will provide some job opportunities, most jobs will result from the need to replace the large number of dentists expected to retire. Job prospects should be good as new dentists take over established practices or start their own. (according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- The demand for dental services will continue to grow. Eighty-four percent of 17-year-olds have experienced dental decay. Forty-one percent of those 65 or older have no teeth and are thus dentally impaired. At any point in time, about half of the U.S. population is experiencing gingival infection. At least 21 million work days are lost annually as a result of oral diseases.
For more current statistics see the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics webpage about dentists.