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Dentist Salary Average Dentist Salary Around the World (Big Mac Index)

Dentist Salary

Healthcare jobs are among the highest paid ones everywhere in the world, and dentistry is no exception. Dentists, or medical professionals who help maintain the health of your teeth and gums, whether they have a private practice or a part of governmental health system like the NHS in UK, usually earn a six-figure sum annually. The salary of a dentist varies not only on the basis of the specialized field of dentistry (endodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, etc.) and the number of years of experience, but also on the basis of the country their practice is located in. In fact, even within a country, salaries sometimes vary widely between states, provinces and cities. Let’s take a detailed look at the dental salaries around the world.

  • Dentist Salary USA: Average dental salaries vary within US depending on the state with states like New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Hawaii. The average salary for dentists in US is $73,968.
  • Dentist Salary Britain: In Britain, a general dentist earns a median salary being of $57,588.78 per year. Of course, a private practitioner with an NHS contract will end up earning a lot more than this number.
  • Dentist Salary Germany: The median dentist salary in Germany, a part of Euro Zone, is around €39,538 or $45,675 with highest salaries being offered in Berlin.
  • Dentist Salary Canada: As per Payscale, a dentist in Canada takes home an average salary of CA$104,516 or $81,758.2. These rates are inclusive of bonus as well as profit sharing, if any.
  • Dentist Salary Australia: A dentist in Australia roughly makes AUS$95,424 or US$73,557.59 on an average and the average salary seems to increase with experience.
  • Dentist Salary South Africa: The average dentist salary in South Africa is R405,292 or $32,670.49 inclusive of cash benefits with Cape Town being the highest paying South African City.
  • Dentist Salary India: The average income of a dentist in India is Rs.245,355 or $3904.66 which is not inclusive of cash and non-cash benefits.
  • Dentist Salary Japan: The average salary of a dentist in Japan is ¥8,695,788 or $71,732 which makes it one of the most lucrative professions in Japan.
Country Annual Salary
in USD
Dentist Salary Big Mac Index
 Spain   $ 175, 961.16   41, 112
 Japan   $   71, 732.60   22, 844
 Canada   $   81, 758.20   17, 620
 Singapore   $   60, 603.07   17, 168
 Australia   $   73, 557.59   17, 027
 China   $   45, 992.89   16, 603
 New Zealand   $   73, 634.00   16, 399
 Netherlands   $   65, 466.24   16, 366
 Ireland   $   65, 560.74   16, 227
 United States   $   73, 968.00   15, 442
 South Africa   $   32, 670.49   14, 716
 Sweden   $   70, 382.98   14, 161
 Norway   $   93, 100.00   13, 691
 Britain   $   57, 588.78   13, 178
 Switzerland   $   96, 767.12   12, 833
 Germany   $   45, 675.00   10, 747
 Portugal   $   32, 574.00     9, 360
 Thailand   $   27, 276.00     8, 972
 Italy   $   36, 612.00     8, 208
 Finland   $   35, 244.00     7, 419
 Czech Republic   $   12, 840.00     4, 397
 Mexico   $   14, 526.73     4, 336
 India   $     3, 904.66     2, 065
 Philippines   $     3, 761.42     1, 024

The data clearly shows that the same academic qualification, specialization, and number of years of experience are unlikely to fetch the same amount of money everywhere. A lot of factors are responsible for deciding how much a professional, in this case a dentist, earns. Some of these factors include government policies, taxation, industry practice related to perks, bonus and profit sharing, etc. Location, however, emerges as one of the prime factors behind the vast variation in dental salaries.

Also, just looking at the dental salaries offered in different places will show a very lopsided view of the profession. We must take into consideration the length and cost of education in different countries. For example, while some countries have a 4-year program, others like UK have a five-year dental program, and Japan has a 6 year one. The cost of education, including tuition fees and hostel living expenses, also vary with location and even different institutions in the same city.

Dental Salary Worldwide and Big Mac Index

Another point that needs to be considered is the cost of living in a particular country. Cost of living refers to the amount of money that is required to maintain a certain standard of living. It is usually measured with the help of a basket of goods and services that are considered essential and common consumption items across the countries being compared. When applied to dental salary as a constituent of cost of living, we see that while the dental salary may seem to be high in one country, when seen in the light of actual cost of living and purchasing power of the currency, it may turn out to be not so high as compared to another country.

To explain the concept in simpler terms, let’s try to compare the cost of living of the above countries through the Big Mac Index. This Index was developed in 1986 by the Economist and it uses the price of a Big Mac in various geographical locations to determine the disparity in the purchasing power of currencies.

Some conclusions from the two charts:

  • Spain offers the highest salaries to dentists, and the cost of living as per the Big Mac Index is highest in Switzerland.
  • Dentists in Philippines take home the least salary, and the cost of a Big Mac is lowest in India.
  • In percentage terms though the difference in dental salaries between US and India is much higher than the difference in the cost of Big Mac showing that it is a lot more profitable to be a dentist in US than in India.
  • While there is not much of a difference between cost of Big Mac in UK, Germany, Canada and Australia, the differences in salary offered is considerable, especially between UK and Germany.

The data and the charts above reveal that some countries definitely value their dentists, indeed all medical practitioners, more than some others and this is why, there is a huge trend in the field of dental professional in countries like India moving to UK or US even at the cost of additional years of studies to obtain the necessary permissions to practice dentistry. On the other hand, the higher cost of dental treatment in some countries has given rise to dental tourism, with patients requiring complicated and expensive procedures going to countries like India and Thailand for dental services.