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40 hours a week? 170K average? seems too good to be true

Discussion in 'Dental' started by DocLove06, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. DocLove06

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    I know that the average dentist works about 4-5 days a week averaging 36-40 hours a week. My question is that does this include administrative duties? Also a lot of salary surveys state that general dentists make about 170K but isn't that for dentist who own their own practice? How hard is it to start your own practice (assuming ma or pa isn't a dentist)? I use to work for a dentist and he told me that it costs about 100K a chair to open a practice and that he didn't see profit until he was in his mid 30s. He's now established and makes bank but he told me it took A LOT of hardship to get there.
     
    #1 DocLove06, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
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  3. JamieMac

    JamieMac Elite Member
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    If it takes 100,K/chair to open from scratch and you don't receive a profit for a long time, it seems like it would make more sense to purchase an existing practice (even if the equipment wasn't new). You could probably do it for the same amount and have an existing patient base in place instead.
     
  4. SoCalDent

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    It certainly is not too good to be true. Here in Southern California I don't know a single dentist that makes $170. They can't even make their car payments on that.
     
  5. OceanDMD

    OceanDMD Rather be fishing
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    Im surprised so many dentists share their financial status with you. I dont even share it with my parents. Considering 1500 square feet will likely run you 400-500k, I guess you have to make more than most everyone elso in the country as far as state average. Why would anyone live in California? Too expensive.
     
  6. SoCalDent

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    Weather, weather, and weather.
     
  7. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Is it the mudslides, the wildfires, the smog, or the droughts that make California so much more attractive than the rest of the country? :p
     
  8. SoCalDent

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    If any of those things hit Indianapolis it would increase its desirability.:p
     
  9. aphistis

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    Clearly. It obviously works for California. ;)

    We've got plenty of mud at the moment, though. Heck, wildfires or drought might help us dry out a little faster.
     
  10. SoCalDent

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    At least we have good weather and natural disasters. As opposed to bad weather and natural disasters.:laugh:
     
  11. Daurang

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    Dentist who have their own practice should make a lot more than $170K or else it's not worth it.

    A basic brand new functional three-chair office should cost you $100K total if you know what you're doing; or $400K if you don't know what you're doing.

    I'm originally from California with a Cali license but I don't even bother living in California; there's no joy in busting balls paying $1Mil for a crappy shack, 10%state income tax, hoa fee, mello roos, traffic, pollution, expensive gas, etc. in addition the nondeductible educational loans. I use the money saved for yearly multiple escapes to Paris, Venice, MoBay, Miami, Montreal, Cancun, NYC, Hawaii, Toronto, Las Vegas, SF, LA, San Diego; and I'd still come out ahead financially. the good news is that when you live in Cali, you're already immersed in all cultures and subcultures so you don't need to go anywhere else anyway.
     
    #10 Daurang, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  12. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Have you even been to CA? Mudslides and droughts affects practically no one in the state. Smog can be an issue but hardly ever is it bad enough to affect daily life (I know because I have been teaching high school P.E. this last year and we have to watch that). Wildfires, well, that's a negative but every state's gotta have one. Good luck finding the nice beaches in Indy!
     
  13. DocLove06

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    com'on how about some answers?!
     
  14. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    [​IMG]
     
  15. SoCalDent

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    What ever are you trying to imply??:confused:
     
  16. Rube

    Rube Member
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    150k in middle america
    140-200+ in rural America
    220-320+ in upscale suburban america.
    400+ is exceptional
     
  17. aphistis

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    Half of the Midwest is underwater right now. All of us here in flyover country are just envious of the location (if not what it costs to be there). Don't take it so personally. :)
     
  18. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Well said. I'll take your H2O if I can snag a piece of your realistic living expenses as well. Deal?
     
  19. airsimon

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    Who wants to work 40 hours a week? I plan on working 4 days a week and 3 days a week in the summer. booya!
     
  20. aphistis

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    Deal. :thumbup:

    To answer the original question: no, it's not too good to be true.
     
  21. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    my car notes, house morgages, student loans, loan for my practice and tons of other taxes, dues and rents, all comes out nearly 1.3 mil. I will not see significant income for for the next several years and I'll have to bust my a$$ off by working 6 days/week. So yeah, it took A LOT of hardship to get there :D:D:D
     
  22. straightwire

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    $170K a year net income is not too good to be true for general dentists who own their own practice. I know several dentists make well into $200K in net income. If you have a enough patients and have 1 or 2 hygienists working for you as well, maing over $200K a year is a very realistic goal. Opening an office from ground zero does take a lot of money. A dentist in my office plaza recently move into a new suite with new equipment cost her about $300K for a 4-chair 1600 square feet office. But she uses a lot of high end equipment and her office is really nice. So it really depends on how nice you want your office to be.......
     
  23. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Bah-ril-liant! Thanks for that one.
     
  24. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    Hate to fuel these financial threads, but I personally know of a general dentist in L.A. who ONLY does cosmetic dentistry... takes home just under $350K/year (which I thought was pretty much unheard of for a general dentist). Anyway...I'm thinking about... nevermind.

    :: packing bags for L.A.::
     
  25. aphistis

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    It's definitely not unheard of for a general dentist. It's not what everyone will earn, by any stretch, but it's certainly a reasonable possibility if you're a capable dentist and a good businessman/woman. I did a dental school extramural with a general dentist who earns more than that doing ordinary general dentistry in a town of 30,000 a half hour south of Indy.
     
  26. pmantz

    pmantz Member
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    When you work over 32 hrs you start to lose productivity. Regardless about how anybody feels about the French, I don't diagree with their insitence for a 32hr work weak.
     
  27. blankguy

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    Come to think of it we are all bunch of prostitutes.:laugh:
    I could ask 100 dentist about their earnings and get 100 different stories assuming that they are willing to talk about it.

    I think that aside from factors that people have mentioned(location, etc...) it also is the approach that people take. I walked into a practice where they really were cracking the whip the assistants were doing practically everything and were literally running from chair to chair. The owner had put up a $5million ranch up for sale and it was on the news. He obviously was taking a very aggressive approach to his career as a dentist. Most practices that I've seen were somewhat laid back. It seems like cosmetic/esthetic dentistry has a big pull nowadays.
     
    #26 blankguy, Jun 20, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  28. anamod

    anamod Senior Member
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    I would not pack your bags for LA cost of living is to high. My wife and I work in a town of about 1300 in Minnesota and my wife will surpass that take home this year and she graduated in 2007. The 2 doctors I worked for take home a great deal more than 350,000 a year also. I work part time with my wife and part time at another clinic. The key to is go where a dentist is needed NOT where it is fun to live. I know this is the opposite of what people say but if you want to make a great deal more money go rural. My wife purchased the stand alone building built in 1980 for $80,00. That won't even get you a lot in most areas.

    A common misconception is that the people in these areas have no money. While some of that is true most will surprise you. Yeah, we sometimes take out teeth that could easily be saved with a RCT, but you give them the option and let them decide.
     
  29. Yellow Snow

    Yellow Snow Senior Member
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    Just a side note, but I wanna mention that it isn't neccessary to go into cosmetics to make the big bucks. There are different niches in dentistry and if you are in the top of your niche, you are gonna make the bucks. My bro does high volume basic general dentistry and comes in around $330 k a year. A new grad should think of which niche they want to enter and how to be one of the best in that niche.
     
  30. JamieMac

    JamieMac Elite Member
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    1300 or 13,000? ...If it's 1300, you guys must be pulling hard from the surrounding areas. Either way, very impressive...especially after graduating just last year!
     
  31. anamod

    anamod Senior Member
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    No it really is 1300. We have a dentist to population ratio of 1:6500 in our zipcode (that stat only includes my wife not my part time work). We bought a practice where they had not taken new patients in 2 years and the only other doc in town (worked 2 days a week) closed his doors last year. So we are swamped with patients. My wife is soildly booked until almost the end of august. I'm wiling to share more details if you would like.
     
  32. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1
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    None of the above, its the taxes... we just love giving our government more money to spend/lose/etc.
     
  33. JamieMac

    JamieMac Elite Member
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    Wow, that's fantastic! It sounds like you guys found a gem. Did you also graduate in 2007? Were you guys concerned about your (her) speed when she first took over the practice? I've heard so many times that you really don't learn enough in dental school, and have a lot more to learn after.
     
  34. anamod

    anamod Senior Member
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    I graduated in 2006. She associated at a practice for about 6 months and there was no signs of her being able to buy in with in the next 3-4 years. So when this place came up for sale she went for it.

    It has been a learning experience for sure. No, she really never worried about the speed issue the doc before us was not all that effecient. I felt after a year I could run a smaller office fairly easily, now a large office is another story. The time I don't spend working with my wife I spend at a very well run practice in a larger city of about 100,000. The owner doc and I split the time 50-50 and I have learned how to run a large practice such as his (pm me if you want numbers). I will have the option to buy the practice in about1.5 years. I don't think I will buy it due to the stress of having to keep up these numbers to pay the loan note.

    The other place I used to work at was in a town of 1700. It is an absolute gold mine for who ever buys it. The doc there just patches everything and still does 7 figures in production. The right person with a intraoral camera and some charisma could retire early

    My advise is go rural
     
  35. aphistis

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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  36. MarkND

    MarkND DDS, me?
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    I believe you forgot the earthquake!!! :eek:
     
  37. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Better be a close drive to the real world because us CA city slickers couldn't hack it. Nice idea but "uh-uh".
     
  38. anamod

    anamod Senior Member
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    Well than be prepared for competiton and a lower chance of make a large income. I live in a town of about 100,000 and we commute about to the town of 1300 about 38 miles away.
     
  39. MONKEYBOY

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    Now a story like this is going to help get rural people cared for! :)

    It really makes sense, that if you are the only person around (i.e., having the proper patient:hungover:entist ratio) they will come.

    Been thinking about doing a commuting-practice somewhere along an interstate, 30 miles or so each way would be nothing in my Porsche (currently have one).
     
  40. Awara

    Awara Member
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    I always wonder why people get so hung up on average salaries for everything. How much you will make depends only on you and no one else. Anyone with right skills can be successful anywhere. It is about what you want as person that is important. To me, 150K per year with good size home, 4 days a week work and spending time with my kids is important and it is what I value. To me that is success and some others making 400K and doing what they value is success. Both types of people exists. Just because you make more money doesn't mean you are successful. Define what you want to achieve and go for it. Don't be one of the people I know who went to ENDODONTICS after looking at average salary and price of the root canal and after he only did two in Dental school. Guess what he is now practicing as a general dentist. Just do what you want with good heart and money will follow, don't chase money. Dentistry is a great profession and we are lucky to be part of it.
     
  41. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Now I could do that. Well, not from SoCal. Oh well. Back to my horrible 100k a year in crowded CA. :rolleyes:
     
  42. ddsrealist

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    :eek:
     
  43. ItsGavinC

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    $100k per chair is far too much. That would represent a person who is being taken to the cleaners by the suppliers and everybody else.

    $170k a year for 40 hours isn't impossible. Break it down into a daily production amount and figure in overhead, etc (probably producing $380-450k in order to bring home 170k).
     
  44. PERFECT3435

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    are we seriously comparing indiana with kaleefornia?

    you gotta be freaking kidding me. if nothing else i guess it makes for a good laugh and i'll be sure to ask the 40% of my hoosier friends why they wanna go to CA when they are done.
     
  45. dds2016

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    LA has close to 10 million people. If 9,000 dentists practice, which is probably high, in the LA area that still leaves a dentist to patient ratio of around 1 to 1111. Not to bad if you ask me, especially since dentists in SoCal will probably be charging twice as much as a rural area.
     
  46. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    I'll DEFINATELY third that rural move! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    Think of it this way, what's better, being one of many "little fish" in a big pond, or being the ONLY fish in the entire pond:idea:
     
  47. SoCalDent

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    If the pond is swampy and disgusting, I'd say its better to be in one of many little fish in a beautiful, clear pond. :laugh::thumbup:
     
  48. nhasigioi

    nhasigioi Nha Sĩ Giỏi
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    .
     
    #47 nhasigioi, Jun 24, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  49. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    With a bunch of work, you can turn that "swampy and disgusting" pond into a clear one, and make a bunch of $$ in the process;):D:thumbup:
     
  50. Daurang

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    I rather be the ruler of the swampy, disgusting hell than serve as one of many little peons in your beautiful, clear heaven. Having lived in San Jose and Oceanside for 20 years, I do miss the weather once in a while. There's a reason why every year more people born in California are moving out than into the state.
     
  51. stdmufin27

    stdmufin27 It's H-O-T in Sin City
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    Because they are making a killing w/ real estate. Do you really think that line makes sense anyway? Who's to say you are supposed "peon" working here. The profession will allow you to make good money here as well thank you very much. With a bunch of work you can be KING PEON! That's suits me fine.
     

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