We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I obtained some inside information. A local, solo practitioner guy nets, for himself, $1.4 million per year. His gross is almost double that. He works hard, keeps three rooms going at a time, and around 40% of his practice is children's Medicaid which apparently pays well. The rest is self-pay plus some dental insurance.
He has two hygienists, a receptionist, and a billing person in the office. A small businessman.
Without knowing more details, I'll pass on the validity of the reported numbers but agree with those of JimS for most pediatric dentists.
Could be any number of factors at play here: the dentist is a machine, he does a lot of procedures on high complexity patients, makes it up on his private pay patients, has friends in high places, etc.
Might be fun to take a gander at the medicaid agency's fee schedule and reports showing who got paid what. Always interesting reading.
As a dentist, I can tell you that those figures are probably pretty correct. It does depend on the fee schedule, but the numbers are not implausible. Problem for me is the fee schedule allowing him to earn so much at the public trough. It is unseemly from my perspective. we do not do any medicaid dentistry out of principle, I do donate my time to a free clinic 2 mornings a month.
The hygienists could easily be cranking out $1500+ a day if the fee schedule is middle road, at 200 days that is $600,000. Not a lot of high price procedures in pediatrics, but a TON OF EASY TO DO MIDDLE PRICED ONES. I am sure the Doc is a real hustler and earns his money the old fashioned way. Unfortunalely, just as the poor among us have worse health, they also have worse teeth. Our tax dollars at work.
Commenter JimS said his friend makes about $175K a year and if you look at the published stats that sounds about right but I can tell you from 30+ years in the field that most high earners do not allow any of their stats to go public. Just like to say that if any readers have sons or daughters who like hard work, are organized, like to make a (relatively) lot of money, and are interested in the sciences and have good aptitude for them then try to steer them in dentistry's direction! We have little interference from the federal government, have complete control over our lives, and thoroughly enjoy not being linked to "real" doctors.
Please all, after retracing my previous comment, I feel that I came across as somewhat condescending to those who end up in the bottom rungs of society. Allow me to clarify; when one chooses to be part of the Medicaid system, the paperwork and reporting requirements become onerous;unless you are willing to work the 200 days a year and not enjoy what you do, which, by the by, I do immensely enjoy, then the system MAY allow great financial remuneration with lots of hard work. It is a cat and mouse game, when the docs start making lots of money, theN the system changes the rule quickly to reduce the $$$. I have witnessed this for a long time in Pa. Anyway, my comments remain the same, if you know of a scientifically curious youngster who also enjoys the benefits of good pay for hard work, then tell them about dentistry! But shhh! We do not want the word to get out!!! (except to those who are interested). My email addy is available so if a young person would like to speak to a "not a doctor" dentist feel free to give them my contact info.
Our dentist employs at least 6 people that I can see, is hugely gifted and always busy and only works Monday thru Thursday lunchtime. He refuses to take any insurance/Mcaid so has limited paperwork worries. He works very hard, but is very much his own boss and I am sure he likes it that way. Our GP on the other hand is working himself into a decline. He has a large percentage of elderly patients and is snowed under with Mcare paperwork, he has a fleet of employees just to take care of said paperwork and has discontinued Mcaid patients because they cost him more than he makes. He used to do volunteer work,but doesnt' have time any more. Very talented Internal Medicine spceialist, the first in his family to get any advanced education and a lot of the family work for him just to help him out with office and yard work. He would probably make more if he belonged to to large practice and shared the costs, but he likes to be independent. I have a feeling that he doesn't always love his profession.