How Much Does an Orthodontist Make: A Comprehensive Salary Guide

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Have you ever wondered how much an orthodontist makes? Orthodontists play a crucial role in improving dental health and creating beautiful smiles. But what about their earning potential? In this article, we’ll delve into the world of orthodontist salaries, exploring the factors that influence their income and shedding light on the average earnings in the field.

Orthodontist Salary Overview

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s get an overview of the average salary range for orthodontists. According to recent data, the median income for orthodontists in the United States falls between $200,000 and $400,000 per year. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary significantly based on several factors.

Factors Affecting Orthodontist Salaries

A. Experience and Education

One of the primary factors influencing an orthodontist’s salary is their level of experience and education. As in any profession, orthodontists with more years of experience typically earn higher salaries. Additionally, those who have pursued advanced degrees or specialized training often command higher pay.

B. Geographic Location

Geographic location can have a substantial impact on orthodontist salaries. Orthodontic practices in large metropolitan areas or regions with high demand for their services tend to offer higher compensation. On the other hand, areas with a lower cost of living or limited access to orthodontic care may offer comparatively lower salaries.

C. Type of Employment

The type of employment an orthodontist chooses can also affect their earnings. Orthodontists can work in various settings, including private practices, group practices, hospitals, or academic institutions. Private practices and group practices often provide higher earning potential, while salaries in hospitals or academic settings may be more standardized.

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D. Specialist vs. General Orthodontists

Orthodontists can further specialize their practice beyond general orthodontics, which can impact their earning potential. Specialists who focus on complex cases or specific areas such as surgical orthodontics or orthodontic treatments for children may earn higher salaries due to their specialized expertise.

E. Additional Certifications and Specializations

Orthodontists who pursue additional certifications or specializations can increase their earning potential. For example, becoming a board-certified orthodontist or acquiring expertise in the latest orthodontic technologies and treatments can make orthodontists more valuable to patients and lead to higher salaries.

Orthodontist Salary Statistics

Let’s take a closer look at some statistical data to gain a better understanding of orthodontist salaries. According to a recent survey, the top 10% of orthodontists earn over $400,000 per year, while the bottom 10% earn around $125,000. The majority of orthodontists, however, fall within the median range of $200,000 to $400,000, as mentioned earlier.

It’s worth noting that orthodontist salaries have been steadily increasing in recent years due to various factors, including increasing demand for orthodontic services and advancements in orthodontic technology. This upward trend suggests promising growth opportunities within the field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A. What is the average starting salary for orthodontists?

The average starting salary for orthodontists typically ranges between $120,000 and $200,000 per year. However, this can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the type of practice an orthodontist joins.

B. How does an orthodontist’s salary compare to other dental professionals?

Orthodontists generally earn higher salaries compared to general dentists or dental specialists in other fields. This is due to the additional years of education and specialized training required to become an orthodontist.

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C. Are there any gender disparities in orthodontist salaries?

While gender disparities have historically existed in various professions, the field of orthodontics has shown progress in this regard. Female orthodontists now make up a significant portion of the workforce and earn comparable salaries to their male counterparts.

D. How does the salary vary across different regions?

Orthodontist salaries can vary significantly across different regions. For instance, orthodontists practicing in urban areas or regions with higher living costs tend to earn more than those in rural or less populated areas.

E. Can orthodontists earn more by starting their own practice?

Starting a private practice can offer orthodontists the potential for higher earnings. However, it’s important to consider the additional responsibilities and costs associated with running a practice, such as overhead expenses and marketing efforts.


In conclusion, orthodontists can enjoy a rewarding career both professionally and financially. While the average salary range for orthodontists falls between $200,000 and $400,000 per year, several factors influence their earnings. Factors such as experience, education, location, type of employment, specialization, and additional certifications all play a role in determining an orthodontist’s salary.

As the demand for orthodontic care continues to grow and technology advances, the earning potential for orthodontists is expected to remain promising. Pursuing a career as an orthodontist not only allows you to make a positive impact on people’s lives but also offers the opportunity for a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

Remember, the figures mentioned in this article are averages and can vary based on individual circumstances. If you’re considering a career in orthodontics, it’s essential to research and consult with professionals in the field to gain a more accurate understanding of the earning potential in your specific area.

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