When it comes to medical professions, both dentists and orthodontists can offer lucrative salaries. However, orthodontists tend to make significantly more than dentists. Dentists' offices are the largest employer of both dentists and orthodontists, and they pay the highest wages to both groups. Dentists provide a wide range of oral health services, while orthodontists specialize in the alignment of teeth and jaws, using non-surgical methods to correct misalignment. Patients only need to see an orthodontist when they have a problem, while general dentists help resolve issues and provide preventive and routine care.
Orthodontics requires a great deal of additional education beyond what is required for dentistry. Both dentists and orthodontists must first obtain a bachelor's degree from a four-year university before applying to dental school. The Dental Admission Exam (DAT) is part of the application process for most programs. Due to the specialized nature of orthodontics, it commands higher salaries than dentistry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dentists in 2019 was $159,200, while the median annual wage for orthodontists was $208,000.
This is a difference of $48,800 per year. In addition to higher salaries, orthodontists also have more job security than dentists. Orthodontic treatments are often covered by insurance plans, which means that patients are more likely to seek out these services than other types of dental care. This helps ensure that orthodontists have a steady stream of patients. Overall, it is clear that orthodontists make more money than dentists. The higher education requirements and job security associated with this profession make it an attractive option for those looking for a stable career with good pay.