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5 Highest-Paying Dental Jobs of 2023

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: May 23, 2023

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The field of dentistry continues to rank as one of the top jobs in America. For those considering dentistry as a profession, there is good news in 2023: several specialties enable you to earn a good income while helping patients feel healthy and confident.

With so many options available, it might be helpful to look at several of the top earning dental careers. So, here are five of the highest-paying jobs in dentistry today.

1. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Average Salary: $428,623 a year

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat mouth, jaws, gums, teeth, head, and neck conditions. They repair conditions such as cleft lips and palates, pull wisdom teeth, and provide treatments for certain oral cancers. Because the field is innovative and requires an additional 4-6 years of residency training after dental school, it is the highest-paid specialty in dentistry.

If surgery is not your passion, but you still want a career that focuses on the oral and maxillofacial region, oral and maxillofacial pathology is also a lucrative specialty that pays an average annual salary of $173,520.

2. Orthodontist
Average Salary: $304,862 a year

Ranked in the top 20 by US News & World Report in 2023, orthodontics is a rewarding specialty that helps patients improve their self-confidence by straightening teeth and treating bite disorders. Becoming an orthodontist does require 2-3 years of additional training after dental school, but many find the effort worth it because it is fulfilling and pays very well.

3. Endodontist
Average Salary: $300,608 a year

Endodontists are critical in preventative dental care. They treat the interior of teeth and are typically the ones who perform root canals. Endodontists are in high demand as 25 million endodontic treatments are performed yearly.

To enter the endodontics field, you’ll need to complete a two-year residency after dental school as well as be an avid learner. Technology is constantly evolving, so learning about the latest advancements and techniques is critical. You must also have excellent hand-eye coordination and be comfortable working under stress during dental emergencies.

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4. Dental Anesthesiologist
Average Salary: $261,459 a year

The prospect of pain keeps many dental patients from getting crucial procedures done. In fact, 39% of people with dental fears say they are primarily afraid of pain. As a dental anesthesiologist, you can help relieve patients’ anxiety through pain management.

To become a dental anesthesiologist, you must complete at least three years of training after earning your dental degree. And you will need to obtain state licensure to practice.

5. Pediatric Dentist
Average Salary: $234,915 a year

If you love kids, pediatric dentistry might be the high-paying career for you. Pediatric dentists play a critical role in establishing children’s healthy dental habits that can prevent issues later in life. It is also a job in high demand. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) estimates that the number of pediatric dentists will grow more than 60% in the next decade.

Like other specialties, becoming a pediatric dentist requires two years of residency after dental school.

Find the Right Dental Specialty for You
While most dental students go on to practice general dentistry, there are plenty of other lucrative specialties to choose from. While the list above doesn’t comprise every high-earning role, it can be a good start to finding the dental specialty that suits you.

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