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, implant dentistry, 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 2014 was $174.780 for a general practitioner and $322,200 for a specialist (according to the American Dental Association) and, in 2015, an annual median pay of $158,310 (according to the U.S. Department of Labor).
- Employment of dentists is projected to grow about much faster than average (18%) for all occupations through 2024. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics “the demand for dental services will increase as the population ages, cosmetic dental services become increasingly popular, and access to health insurance continues to grow.”
- Job prospects for dentists are expected to be good. There are still areas of the country where patients need dental care but have little access to it. Job prospects will be especially good for dentists who are willing to work in these areas. In addition, many dentists are expected to retire in the next decade and replacement workers will be needed to fill those positions.
For current dentistry-related statistics see the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.