Panis et Circenses

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Sep 29, 2015
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Hey everyone, I'm applying to dental schools now and am looking at the specialties just out of curiosity. Are there any new ortho grads out there, or anyone who knows what happens to them?

As I've searched this field, all I can find are "the sky is falling" articles and threads. Is it really bad out there? I've actually looked at dentaltown, and at other websites to find ortho practices to buy. There are very few listed. I read somewhere there that every year there are ~400 people looking to buy ortho practices and ~100 people looking to sale. Is this true?

What do new ortho grads do? Do you work as an associate? As we all know, the price of dental school is insane. Ortho specialties are no exception either, adding to student debt (with additional opportunity cost, etc.) If people are graduating with $500,000 in debt, is it easy to find work and pay off loans? What do ortho associate jobs pay?

Something troubling to me is that it seems that all orthodontists nowadays have to work in multiple locations to find enough patients. I know a new ortho graduate who has multiple offices in multiple locations.. One would only have to wonder how much overhead that would rack up.. Paying for the equipment in multiple offices, paying for rent in multiple locations, having to order supplies to all those locations...

Do most new ortho grads end up having to start their own practice?
Thanks
 

charlestweed

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As I've searched this field, all I can find are "the sky is falling" articles and threads. Is it really bad out there? I've actually looked at dentaltown, and at other websites to find ortho practices to buy. There are very few listed. I read somewhere there that every year there are ~400 people looking to buy ortho practices and ~100 people looking to sale. Is this true?
Most doctors sell their practices because their practices fail to make money or they make so little that it’s no longer worth it for them to keep their practices. So when you purchase a practice, you have to work hard and change the way the selling doc runs his/her office. Don't ever think that purchasing an existing practice is easier to make money than than starting one from scratch.
What do new ortho grads do? Do you work as an associate? As we all know, the price of dental school is insane. Ortho specialties are no exception either, adding to student debt (with additional opportunity cost, etc.) If people are graduating with $500,000 in debt, is it easy to find work and pay off loans? What do ortho associate jobs pay?
Depends on how picky you are. If you are willing to drive a long distance, work on Saturdays, and accept any available job offer out there, you shouldn’t have any problem staying fully employed.
Something troubling to me is that it seems that all orthodontists nowadays have to work in multiple locations to find enough patients. I know a new ortho graduate who has multiple offices in multiple locations.
Depends on how you schedule your patients. If you have your own office, you can do whatever you want. If you only want to see 10-15 patients a day, then you may have to work 4-5 days/week to take care of all your active patients. But if you want to see 60-80 patients a day (and hire more chairside assistants to help you), then you only need to work 1 day a week. Orthodontists travel because they want to make more money to pay off their student loans faster.
One would only have to wonder how much overhead that would rack up.. Paying for the equipment in multiple offices, paying for rent in multiple locations, having to order supplies to all those locations...
Again, it depends on how picky you are. If you like to work in a beautiful large office with expensive rent and equipment, then your overhead will be higher than if you work in a small office space (or if you share the office space with another specialist) with older equipment. Lower overhead = higher take home income.
Do most new ortho grads end up having to start their own practice?
Thanks
Most have their own practices. Most work part time at their own practice and part time for someone else (ie a GP, dental chain, or another orthodontist)
 
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Panis et Circenses

Panis et Circenses

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Sep 29, 2015
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Thanks for the responses charlestweed. As time goes on, are ortho specialists able to concentrate enough patients at their own practice that they don't need to have multiple offices?

And as an orthodontist, do you feel like the field is becoming over-saturated? Its possible that it could be a legitimate problem, like it is with law school graduates. Or, it could be just a bunch of whiners that have a loud voice, because I think with every profession, there's going to be people that complain about having "too much competition". I've even read certain MD doctors complain about it, when there is quite obviously a physician shortage in most areas.
 

charlestweed

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Thanks for the responses charlestweed. As time goes on, are ortho specialists able to concentrate enough patients at their own practice that they don't need to have multiple offices?
Orthodontists don’t need to work 5 days/week at one office location because they can see 50-80 patients in one day. Why work 5 days/week when you can care of all of your patients with just 2-3 days/week? The only big additional expense for adding more office(s) is paying the rent, which is only $2-3k a month. The employees travel with the doctor and they also carry instruments/supplies with them. Orthodontists travel to different offices not because they don’t have enough patients but because they want to make more money. Who wouldn’t want to make a lot of money? Practicing ortho full time isn’t like practicing dentistry full time. It’s 100 times less stressful.
And as an orthodontist, do you feel like the field is becoming over-saturated? Its possible that it could be a legitimate problem, like it is with law school graduates. Or, it could be just a bunch of whiners that have a loud voice, because I think with every profession, there's going to be people that complain about having "too much competition". I've even read certain MD doctors complain about it, when there is quite obviously a physician shortage in most areas.
Yes. Ortho is becoming over-saturated due to openings of new dental schools and ortho programs. Everything (dentists, pharmarcists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, nurses etc) is oversaturated here in SoCal. Just work hard, work at as many different offices as possible to gain the experience, live frugally during the first few years, keep the overhead low (when you are ready to start your own office) and you’ll be fine.
 
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Tooth

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I consider myself to be a pretty open person, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Do you really expect people to post their incomes on the internet? Geez.
 
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Panis et Circenses

Panis et Circenses

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I consider myself to be a pretty open person, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Do you really expect people to post their incomes on the internet? Geez.
No, why are you getting defensive? You see people posting all over the place what an average associate salary is for a general dentist. What's wrong about asking about general salaries of an associate orthodontist? There doesn't seem to be much information on that.
 

vm26

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No, why are you getting defensive? You see people posting all over the place what an average associate salary is for a general dentist. What's wrong about asking about general salaries of an associate orthodontist? There doesn't seem to be much information on that.
Some are defensive about posting #s, part of it is related to recurrent reimbursement cuts...there is also a huge range depending on geography...I don't know the nuances of your field but the general trend in healthcare is work harder to make the same or less....500K is a lot of student debt, rule of thumb is that your student loan should be more/less equivalent to your starting salary
 
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Panis et Circenses

Panis et Circenses

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Sep 29, 2015
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Some are defensive about posting #s, part of it is related to recurrent reimbursement cuts...there is also a huge range depending on geography...I don't know the nuances of your field but the general trend in healthcare is work harder to make the same or less....500K is a lot of student debt, rule of thumb is that your student loan should be more/less equivalent to your starting salary
Ah I see. Unfortunately that rule can't apply to dentistry due to the insane costs of tuition. You have people graduating with 250-400k in debt, with starting salaries of 120-150k on average. The good thing is that residencies aren't mandatory like with medical school.

As far as working harder and making less, I've come to accept that as the reality. We can thank the baby boomers generation and their greed for screwing with our future.
 
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Ah I see. Unfortunately that rule can't apply to dentistry due to the insane costs of tuition. You have people graduating with 250-400k in debt, with starting salaries of 120-150k on average. The good thing is that residencies aren't mandatory like with medical school.

As far as working harder and making less, I've come to accept that as the reality. We can thank the baby boomers generation and their greed for screwing with our future.
Wow...
Who are the ones signing up for these 400k dental schools despite all the warnings? Pretty sure it isn't the baby boomers

Working hard and making less doesn't have to be your reality. There's plenty of flourishing professions where this isn't the case. Don't blame others for your misfortunes when had you had the option of choosing something different.
 
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Panis et Circenses

Panis et Circenses

2+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2015
603
713
Wow...
Who are the ones signing up for these 400k dental schools despite all the warnings? Pretty sure it isn't the baby boomers

Working hard and making less doesn't have to be your reality. There's plenty of flourishing professions where this isn't the case. Don't blame others for your misfortunes when had you had the option of choosing something different.
Who created the situation where for some people that's the only option? Then why don't you ask a baby boomer how much they paid for a dental or medical education? Who created the idea of borrow tomorrow what you can't pay for today (think: who was it that created this massive national debt we have, which is really going to screw our generation over)? Allowing to borrow 100% to pay for schools is giving schools a blank check to charge us whatever the hell they want. It was also the boomers that gave themselves benefits at our expense (i.e. social security). The first generation that installs it reaps all the benefits from it (free stuff!), while the further generations end up having to pay for it. Why is it that the baby boomers had it better than both their parents and their kids? Oh yeah, a simple concept called greed.

Besides it's not just with dentistry. Every field has experienced insane tuition hikes (again, student loan structure). Besides, those of us who are entering the medical field now, whose fault is it that medical professionals are experiencing pay cuts. Is it our own? No that's ridiculous to think about, it's because of the actions of those who came before us.

Anyways, rant over. That's not what this thread is about and I'm not commenting on this any further. Like I said, I've come to accept this as reality and there's nothing I can do about. So why worry about it? We probably won't have it as good as our parents, financially speaking. So what? Life is still good.
 
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