Why Your Dentist Might Have to Pay More Than $100K to Save Your Life
With an average dental office in California costing between $40,000 and $60,000 a year, dentists aren’t the only ones making a killing in the state’s expensive health care system.
There are hundreds of thousands of dentists nationwide who earn millions of dollars a year by treating patients who have insurance coverage for dental procedures.
But as the state approaches the $1 trillion mark in dental care costs, the number of dentistry positions has more than doubled in the past three years, according to the American Dental Association.
This is thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, which will expand access to dental care and require all states to expand their Medicaid programs by 2020.
The bill also includes a cap on the amount of dental coverage an individual can receive from a private insurer, so those in the industry need to make some hard choices about where to work and what to do with their income.
A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation last year found that nearly half of dentist jobs pay less than $100,000.
And because of the Affordable Health Care Act’s mandate that all states expand Medicaid, a substantial portion of the state dental workforce is also working on behalf of people who qualify for subsidies, the survey found.
“When you take into account the ACA, there’s a lot of uncertainty in terms of the future of the dental industry,” said Lisa St. Pierre, director of dental policy at the American Association of Oral Surgeons.
“It’s an industry that’s been growing over the past decade, and I think people just aren’t thinking about that.”
But it’s not just dentists who are facing hard choices.
The majority of dentifers are also working in private practices, according the AMA, and many dentists work in these settings to help lower their rates and make more money.
For example, in the United Kingdom, one in four dentists are private practice dentists, but the average dental job pays $125,000, according a 2015 survey from the University of London’s Institute of Health Policy and Management.
In the United States, however, the average annual salary for a dental practice is less than half that amount, according in the AMA survey.
And in California, a majority of dental professionals working in California are working in the private sector, with only a few dentists working in public sector settings.
The number of dental workers who work in private practice is also increasing, according it.
According to a 2016 survey by the National Association of Dental Directors, nearly a quarter of denticare dental workers are in private private practice.
But despite the increasing number of practices in private dentistry, the AMA and the California Dental Federation say that even as private dentists in California continue to grow, the private industry is still a small portion of overall dental practices.
“Dentistry is still not the dominant industry in California,” said St. Paul.
“There are a lot more dental practices in California than there are in the U.S. And while that’s happening, we also have a lot less practice in the public sector.”
The California DontCareDental Federation estimates that there are more than 1.1 million registered private dental practices, and an estimated 1.5 million dentists.
However, it says the private practices account for less than 1 percent of all dental services in the country, and that only about 1 percent to 2 percent of dentians are in public practice.
St. Peter said that dentists should be looking at how they can maximize their income to make sure that they’re working for patients.
“People who are making a lot can be really healthy and not be paying a lot,” she said.
“But you should always be looking to make a lot.
That’s how you’re going to make more than the average.”
Dentists who make less than that should consider taking on more responsibilities outside of their clinical duties, she said, including working as part of a health care team, working with the nursing home community, or volunteering with a charity.
But St. Peters said it’s also important to keep in mind that most dentists don’t have to be in the community to work.
“If they’re going out and they’re having a family, that’s fine,” she added.
“They can do the work, and they can pay the bills.”
What is your dentist paying?
The AMA says that while dentists can be making a great salary, the real question is what they are paying for their care.
“Many people believe that dentistry is a low-paying occupation, but this is often not the case,” said Robert Ritchie, a professor of dentics and oral health at the University at Albany.
“In fact, dentistry has been one of the most highly valued professions for most people over the last few decades.
It’s the best paid, most prestigious profession in the world, and there