USA Career Guide- Dentists

Education and Training Needed to be Dentists in the USA

The road to getting a Doctor of Dental Surgery or DDS degree requires a long and intensive learning curve. Most dentistry students have to spend 4 years in college and another 4 years in dental school.
Earning a doctoral degree in dentistry usually requires four academic years of study. Dental schools award the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).

All states require dentists to be licensed to practice. In most states, a candidate must graduate from a U. S. dental school accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation and pass written and practical examinations to qualify for licensure.

Pay of Dentists in the USA

The median annual wage of dentists was $146,920 in May 2010.  The lowest 10 percent earned less than $71,210, and the top 10 percent earned $166,400 or more. Earnings vary according to number of years in practice, location, hours worked, and specialty.
The median annual wages of dentist occupations in May 2010 were the following:
     Equal to or greater than $166,400 for oral and maxillofacial surgeons
     Equal to or greater than $166,400 for orthodontists
     $161,020 for dentists, all other specialists
     $141,040 for general dentists
     $118,400 for prosthodontists

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13

Job Prospects of Dentists in the USA

Employment of dentists is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Dentists held about 155,700 jobs in 2010. Employment of dentists is not expected to keep pace with the increased demand for dental services.
People with new or expanded dental insurance coverage will be more likely to visit a dentist than in the past. Cosmetic dental services, such as teeth-whitening treatments, will become increasingly popular. This trend is expected to continue as new technologies allow for less invasive, faster procedures.

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