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Dentistry in United States: Features, Salary, Top Schools, and More

Dentistry in United States Features, Salary, Top Schools, and More

The US has the absolute best healthcare in the world. People come from every country to have medical care that they do not feel can be given optimally in their own countries. We have already considered the general issues of health insurance, now let’s talk about the nuances of dentistry in America, the salaries of dentists and the process of obtaining a dental license.

General features of US dentistry

Medicine in America as a whole is distinguished by a very high level of development, which also applies to dentistry. So, the latest developments and unique equipment are used in the treatment of teeth in the United States.

The dentist supervises the treatment process, and the preparatory work is carried out by his assistants. In addition, in America, it is quite common for a dentist to serve several clients at once, and during his absence, certain actions are performed by medical personnel.


The United States has a health insurance system: every citizen has paid insurance, and in the event of an insured event (illness), he goes to a medical organization, where he receives qualified medical care on the basis of insurance. People who are going to travel to America also purchase insurance that can cover the costs of treatment during their stay in America.

The cost of dental services is often not included in the basic insurance or actually it cover only a small part of the costs. Of course, there are different insurance plans, but even people who pay premiums of $400-500 a year say that they rarely end up covering more than half of the costs. Therefore, it is often more profitable to simply not buy additional insurance for your teeth.

What dentists do

The main areas of American dentistry are such subspecies as therapeutic, surgical, orthopedic dentistry, orthodontics, periodontology, and implantation.

In the US, the majority of dentists (about 80%) run their own private practice and usually start their own business from the moment they receive a license. At the disposal of the dentist, as we have already noticed, there is a staff, but it is usually not numerous.

In almost all the stories about going to American dentists, it is noted that the staff is very polite, always smiling. Now let’s move on to a more interesting aspect – the cost of dental services.

Dental costs and prices

Generally speaking, dentistry in the United States is very expensive and not always available to certain categories of citizens. Insurance almost does not cover these costs, and a citizen has to pay for dental treatment on his own, and quite a lot.

The first thing you need to pay money for is a dentist consultation. Its cost is about $40-$60. In general, this price varies depending on a particular city: the larger it is, the more expensive the service. An approximate price list for other services:

  • a single dental implant – about $1,000 to $3,000;
  • a seal  – about $200 to $400;
  • dental cleaning – about $500;
  • tooth extraction – at least $100.

How to save on dental services in 2022

As you can see, dental treatment in the United States is very expensive. If you receive $3,000 a month, then you can only afford to pay for one implant! And in the case when you need to treat several teeth, the situation becomes more complicated.

What to do in a situation where insurance practically does not cover the cost of dental services?

Americans often have their teeth treated in Mexico or Cuba, where costs are not as high as in their homeland.

At the same time, there are a number of measures in the United States that can help a citizen solve dental issues if the latter does not have the necessary money.

The first is an installment plan. Some dentists may be willing to accommodate you and provide you with the option to pay in installments.

The second is the Carecredit program. The bottom line is that you are given a loan for certain medical expenses (including dental treatment). You receive a special card which you can use to pay for medical services.

Dentist salary

Representatives of the medical caste in the United States are traditionally the highest paid specialists. Dentists in America are no exception. The average annual income of these professionals is about $140,000! They make about $80 an hour.

There is a certain gradation of salaries of dentists depending on the specific state. So, the dentist in Utah and Montana will be able to earn at least $115,000. The highest income is in New Hampshire ($222,000), followed by Iowa ($202,000).

In addition, the place where the dentist provides medical services plays a role. For example, he will be able to receive the smallest income by working in large clinics, and the largest income by engaging in private practice in his own dental office.

How to become a dentist in the USA

A person who has a dental license can provide dental services. To get it, you can use two options.

The first option is to follow the common path and graduate from US Dental School. After you complete it, you will have the corresponding degree – Doctor of dentist medicalry (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Any of these degrees will allow you to practice.

Before you can enroll in dental school, you will first need to complete a bachelor’s degree. It is desirable that the bachelor’s specialty be related to medicine and, in particular, to dentistry.

Dental school

So, first you have to choose a Dental School, lists of all dental schools operating in America are easy to find on the Internet.

After that, you will need to collect documents and send them to the school. Then check the website of your chosen dental school to find out what exams you will need to pass.

When you enter dental school, you must study hard for 3 years and pass an exam (WREB or NERB) at the end of your studies.

After that, it remains to obtain a license from the US state where you plan to practice. Once you get the license, you can start providing medical services, however, you will be in the status of a general dentist. If you wish, you can get a specialization, but it will take time.


The second option is to enter immediately into a specialization (orthopedics, periodontology). There are both pluses (for example, a shorter duration of study) and minuses (not every educational institution can take such a program). The main disadvantage is a narrow specialization in advance, you will be able to conduct practice in only one specialty in the future.

Note that training will cost you a lot: $200,000 – $300,000 for the entire period of study.

In America, there is an opportunity to receive a grant for education. But this does not work for everyone.

Final thoughts

Dentistry in the USA is high quality but too expensive for Americans, even considering that America is in the top 5 countries in the world with the highest wages. Being a dentist in the United States is very prestigious, but it will be a long, complex and costly learning process, which, however, more than pays off with the huge income of a professional dentist in the future.

Category: General

Tags: dental care, medicine, teeth