Mar 25, 2019
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Hi, I'm just a clueless predental who wants to understand the field of dentistry better. I am almost done with my first semester sophomore year of undergrad and so far I'm hopefully on track to getting into dental school. How is the dentistry field doing nowadays financially? I've heard many things starting from saturation, corporates overtaking the market, etc... but has it really gotten worse recently, and do you guys predict that it will get worse in the future? I hope to work in a major city: NYC, boston, Miami, LA you name it (Ik it sounds like a bad choice haha but I just love cities)

The only thing that I have going on for me (and probably a huge advantage) is that my parents were extremely kind enough to offer to pay for all of my tuition for dental school if I continue down this route.
 
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Your quality of life as a dentist is directly related to the amount of debt you will incur in undergrad and dental school. If your parents are willing to foot the bill dentistry would be a great option IMO.

Average dentist income is stagnant while tuition of dental schools is skyrocketing. More schools are opening which is leading to more saturation. I think dentistry will become the new pharmacy sometime down the line.
 
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Your quality of life as a dentist is directly related to the amount of debt you will incur in undergrad and dental school. If your parents are willing to foot the bill dentistry would be a great option IMO.

Average dentist income is stagnant while tuition of dental schools is skyrocketing. More schools are opening which is leading to more saturation. I think dentistry will become the new pharmacy sometime down the line.

Yep. Agree with everything above except for the pharmacy example. Pharmacy is in trouble. No doubt. Surprised pharmacy still exists. Dentistry is different. In dentistry you are providing hands on diagnosis and treatment. But yes. Dentistry, especially in the urban, saturated cities is turning or is retail. No one should be surprised. Medicine started all these small retail clinics. No surprise that dentistry is following.

The one positive to all of this is ....... plenty of jobs. Pretty hard to be unemployed as a dentist. So ... the job market is good. But our salaries are being marginalized by the interests of Corporate America. DS tuition is bordering on ridiculous.

You want to avoid all of this? Go rural. Go where Corps don't want to go. Your chances of building or starting a nice, traditional dental practice is higher in a rural/semi-rural area.

As for you the OP. Nice perk .... having your parents pay for your DS. No debt means you have the luxury to do whatever you want. Do your parents a favor and at least have the stats to attend a cheaper, maybe in-state school.

tldr; There will always be teeth. There will always be jobs for dentists.
 
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Saddleshoes

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Hi, I'm just a clueless predental who wants to understand the field of dentistry better. I am almost done with my first semester sophomore year of undergrad and so far I'm hopefully on track to getting into dental school. How is the dentistry field doing nowadays financially? I've heard many things starting from saturation, corporates overtaking the market, etc... but has it really gotten worse recently, and do you guys predict that it will get worse in the future? I hope to work in a major city: NYC, boston, Miami, LA you name it (Ik it sounds like a bad choice haha but I just love cities)

The only thing that I have going on for me (and probably a huge advantage) is that my parents were extremely kind enough to offer to pay for all of my tuition for dental school if I continue down this route.

That is very good of your parents.
Do they know what they (and you) really understand the total $$$ of that commitment?
 
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Mar 25, 2019
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Your quality of life as a dentist is directly related to the amount of debt you will incur in undergrad and dental school. If your parents are willing to foot the bill dentistry would be a great option IMO.

Average dentist income is stagnant while tuition of dental schools is skyrocketing. More schools are opening which is leading to more saturation. I think dentistry will become the new pharmacy sometime down the line.

Thank you for the input! I was exactly worried about this, and I'm also worried that rural areas might become saturated in the next decade or so, when I actually become a dentist. I hope that this really doesn't happen though

Yep. Agree with everything above except for the pharmacy example. Pharmacy is in trouble. No doubt. Surprised pharmacy still exists. Dentistry is different. In dentistry you are providing hands on diagnosis and treatment. But yes. Dentistry, especially in the urban, saturated cities is turning or is retail. No one should be surprised. Medicine started all these small retail clinics. No surprise that dentistry is following.

The one positive to all of this is ....... plenty of jobs. Pretty hard to be unemployed as a dentist. So ... the job market is good. But our salaries are being marginalized by the interests of Corporate America. DS tuition is bordering on ridiculous.

You want to avoid all of this? Go rural. Go where Corps don't want to go. Your chances of building or starting a nice, traditional dental practice is higher in a rural/semi-rural area.

As for you the OP. Nice perk .... having your parents pay for your DS. No debt means you have the luxury to do whatever you want. Do your parents a favor and at least have the stats to attend a cheaper, maybe in-state school.

tldr; There will always be teeth. There will always be jobs for dentists.

Thank you! That less than 1% unemployment does look nice haha
 
Mar 25, 2019
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That is very good of your parents.
Do they know what they (and you) really understand the total $$$ of that commitment?

Yes, both of my parents are dentists haha -- I say clueless predental because my parents practice in Korea, and the predental system works differently there.
 

Mauricio45

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Location makes a big difference. Work in a small or rural area and you will make a killing and a have a good quality of life. But work in big metro city and you will not make as much and have to deal with competition. I will never work in a big city. Too stressful.
 

yappy

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100% agree with the comments on debt. The pay will put you solidly into the upper middle class. However, that will be meaningless if you have a ton of debt. Above anything else, make sure you'll actually like being a dentist, you owe yourself that much. Dentistry is not easy money or a "lifestyle" field.
 
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luisfigo

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No tuition? hell yes it's a great profession. No, rural areas will not become saturated. It's hard to get someone to practice out there because you have to convince not only the doctor but their spouse as well. You want to make great money? go outside of the big cities, you can live nearby just don't practice in them. I have a friend who lives maybe 30 minute commute into Dallas making over 360k as an associate, working outside and living outside. Guess what, he can enjoy the city anytime he wants and makes more money than any associate gp in the metroplex. If you want to work as a general, work your butt off, and make way less, live in the city.
 

PerioDont

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No tuition? hell yes it's a great profession. No, rural areas will not become saturated. It's hard to get someone to practice out there because you have to convince not only the doctor but their spouse as well. You want to make great money? go outside of the big cities, you can live nearby just don't practice in them. I have a friend who lives maybe 30 minute commute into Dallas making over 360k as an associate, working outside and living outside. Guess what, he can enjoy the city anytime he wants and makes more money than any associate gp in the metroplex. If you want to work as a general, work your butt off, and make way less, live in the city.

is this person a GP? what kind of job is this? is he doing specialty work?
 

luisfigo

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is this person a GP? what kind of job is this? is he doing specialty work?

Yes he's a GP, produces about 1.2 mil/year, $1000 daily minimum 38% of production,(rough estimates of what he's told me in the past) he refers out very little, pretty much no implants, lots of RCT's crowns some clear aligners. Difficult RCT's are pretty much the only "specialty" work he does as he rarely refers out.
 
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PerioDont

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Yes he's a GP, produces about 1.2 mil/year, $1000 daily minimum 38% of production,(rough estimates of what he's told me in the past) he refers out very little, pretty much no implants, lots of RCT's crowns some clear aligners. Difficult RCT's are pretty much the only "specialty" work he does as he rarely refers out.
wow thats great. if he was an owner producing that much, assuming 50% OH, he would be taking home 600k. ofc the stress of ownership is a different beast
 

TanMan

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Hi, I'm just a clueless predental who wants to understand the field of dentistry better. I am almost done with my first semester sophomore year of undergrad and so far I'm hopefully on track to getting into dental school. How is the dentistry field doing nowadays financially? I've heard many things starting from saturation, corporates overtaking the market, etc... but has it really gotten worse recently, and do you guys predict that it will get worse in the future? I hope to work in a major city: NYC, boston, Miami, LA you name it (Ik it sounds like a bad choice haha but I just love cities)

The only thing that I have going on for me (and probably a huge advantage) is that my parents were extremely kind enough to offer to pay for all of my tuition for dental school if I continue down this route.

From my experience (single data point), dentistry is better than ever from a solo private practice perspective. From last year to this year, I'm seeing a 40% increase in production/collections even with the covid and before the expansion. That whole corporate is the future and infallible is overblown, IMO. I've seen corporates close down when they fail to penetrate the market, and they rarely come back.

If you have the financial backing of your parents that they can fund your dental school education, I'd recommend having them foot the bill for your office too, if they can. That gives you a huge headstart in whatever saturated market you plan to be in. However, I find that the surrounding suburbs of major cities tend to be better, as population growth tends to be higher and more disposable income too.

Dentistry can provide you with a good lifestyle with less hours and more money. Treat yourself like a business (look at what can make you profitable, whether it be dentistry or something else). At a minimum, you want to have as little debt as possible so that you don't impact your long term financial growth, but at the same time, your labor inputs (in dentistry) need to be worth your while. If you can reduce your startup costs as much as possible, while incurring as little debt as possible, you will have long term financial success.... and if you really hate the profession but like business, you can always hire dentists (getting a dental degree at this point only makes sense if you are in a state that requires a DDS/DMD to be an owner). Maybe because I come from a not-so-well off family, but where else can you make a few k per day working a regular day without parental/family support?
 
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From my experience (single data point), dentistry is better than ever from a solo private practice perspective. From last year to this year, I'm seeing a 40% increase in production/collections even with the covid and before the expansion. That whole corporate is the future and infallible is overblown, IMO. I've seen corporates close down when they fail to penetrate the market, and they rarely come back.

If you have the financial backing of your parents that they can fund your dental school education, I'd recommend having them foot the bill for your office too, if they can. That gives you a huge headstart in whatever saturated market you plan to be in. However, I find that the surrounding suburbs of major cities tend to be better, as population growth tends to be higher and more disposable income too.

Dentistry can provide you with a good lifestyle with less hours and more money. Treat yourself like a business (look at what can make you profitable, whether it be dentistry or something else). At a minimum, you want to have as little debt as possible so that you don't impact your long term financial growth, but at the same time, your labor inputs (in dentistry) need to be worth your while. If you can reduce your startup costs as much as possible, while incurring as little debt as possible, you will have long term financial success.... and if you really hate the profession but like business, you can always hire dentists (getting a dental degree at this point only makes sense if you are in a state that requires a DDS/DMD to be an owner). Maybe because I come from a not-so-well off family, but where else can you make a few k per day working a regular day without parental/family support?

As spoiled as this sounds, they probably would if I asked but I'm just nowhere near close to the point where I can open an office yet alone am I a dentist. Also I think I would just feel extremely bad for them because they are already doing what majority of parents don't/can't do... Would working a few years as an associate first then transitioning to a private office still be viable for financial success?

I'm trying not to work during college because I want to rather put that time into developing a better application for dental school (meaningful non-paid ECs, more shadowing esp since I haven't done any, and just consistently getting good grades)
 

TanMan

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As spoiled as this sounds, they probably would if I asked but I'm just nowhere near close to the point where I can open an office yet alone am I a dentist. Also I think I would just feel extremely bad for them because they are already doing what majority of parents don't/can't do... Would working a few years as an associate first then transitioning to a private office still be viable for financial success?

I'm trying not to work during college because I want to rather put that time into developing a better application for dental school (meaningful non-paid ECs, more shadowing esp since I haven't done any, and just consistently getting good grades)

Of course it would be viable; many of us have to work as an associate first to save the money to build an office. I had to do that because no one would help me financially. If you're not feeling competent enough to work on patients right out of school, but you have the financial backing, I'd recommend being an associate for 9-12 months in a high volume office, somewhere in the 6-8 month mark, start building your office with your financial backing, and use your associateship as a training/proving ground in the meanwhile. You have the opportunity to do something that many of us (that wanted to go into quick ownership) couldn't. Hopefully, succeeding and making your parents proud will motivate you to work hard and not fail in business.

I'm all for ownership of at least one practice. It's the catalyst that gets you out of the rut of being an associate and you'll make a lot more than being an associate (with limited exceptions). Good luck, and make good use of your time to get into dental school. When you get in and goal is being a GP, the hard part of getting in is over. All you gotta do is just pass and don't fail any of your classes.
 
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CharlestonToothCompany

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*IF*

Your parents pay for dental school

*AND*

They pay for you to open a practice (with lots of capital reserve) or to buy a profitable one

*THEN*

Go for it. Otherwise, run. Now.
 
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TanMan

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*IF*

Your parents pay for dental school

*AND*

They pay for you to open a practice (with lots of capital reserve) or to buy a profitable one

*THEN*

Go for it. Otherwise, run. Now.

It's not that bad. If the OP had the choice of getting money for dental school or an office, I'd always choose an office. Why? Because the interest of the debt can easily be offset by the potential private practice earnings. Lots of potential to make a lot of money in dentistry still. As long as you're flexible and willing to work hard.
 
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Needmyphone

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Most of the people here have never practiced dentistry with a license. Take what they say for a grain of salt about where to practice. Choose the cheapest school, be open minded about what you like and don't in dentistry once you become a dental student. Shadow in offices and also try to find dentists who are honest about their obstacles. You got this!
 
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*IF*

Your parents pay for dental school

*AND*

They pay for you to open a practice (with lots of capital reserve) or to buy a profitable one

*THEN*

Go for it. Otherwise, run. Now.
It's hard for a person to learn when everything is handed to him. When he has a lot of student loans to pay back, he is forced to take out a smaller business loan to set up a smaller, low overhead office. He is forced to do hire fewer assistants and does a lot of work himself to save money. He may need to work 6-7 days/wk (working 1-2 days/wk for someone else to supplement his income when his newly built office doesn't have enough patients). Most of the successful dentist owners I know don't have wealthy parents.....they all had student loans and took out addtional business loan to open their practices.....many of them were raised by low income immigrant parents.

If your goal is to work for someone else for the rest of your life, then you will be miserable paying back those student loans....then you shouldn't pursue dentistry. You have to own a practice and make a lot more than $120-150k/yr....at least 2x more. Work 6 days/wk if you have to. $4-500k student loan is a small amount in comparison to the $3-5 million that you'll need to save for your retirement. You may not be able to save that much from practicing dentistry alone but you can grow your hard earned money by investing it wisely.....real estate, stock, 401k etc.
 
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