Dental Income Projections,Satisfaction,Military vs. Private. Thoughts?


2+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2016

I would appreciate if you guys could comment on the accuracy of this google doc. I tried to get a rough idea of projections for income, happiness, etc and consolidate it for myself and pre dental friends since, in my opinion, their seems to be a lack of current and up to date info for everything dentistry related.


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2+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2016
HPSP- There are a couple of things here that don't pass the sniff test. Most people don't do 37 years in the military. If you do you are a 4-star general. Most people end up retiring out at 24 years as a LTC/COL. You get a pay raise every two years with big increases that come with promotion to the next rank. Looking at the spreadsheet it doesn't seem to line up with typical promotion rates first of all. I'm also questioning the numbers themselves because even with the special pay you get in the dental corps it's not going to be quite as much as what you are projecting. It evens out the pay differences, but it doesn't pay more than the normal average dental salary.

I don't know if these are supposed to include housing allowances and other benefits, but still- they seem high.

The other thing is that I don't think you should only think about the dollars and cents when it comes to private practice versus military service. Being an officer and a Soldier is a lifestyle choice not a job, per se. If you can't handle a deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan where you will be using a porta-potty and shower trailer for 12 months, then I would not consider the HPSP as an option. Even dentists have to carry a weapon down range, pass a PT test every six months, and sometimes go to crappy locations and get shot at. If loan repayment is the only incentive I would say look into other federal programs. In Illinois there are several loan repayment programs that will cover a large portion of your loans in return for practicing in an undeserved area. Many states have versions of this sort of thing.
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