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Dentist Salary in California - CA

Dentists in California can expect to earn an average annual salary of $130,000. It is no hidden fact that practicing dentists in California earn good money each year. However, it is important to realize also that dentists spend many years in school and several months training to be qualified to handle the complex issues of oral hygiene and treatment.

In California, dentists can be paid either by salary or billable patient hours. Most new dentists in California earn a salary by working in an already established dental clinic, thereby building a reputation and establishing a patient base. Once this patient base is strong enough, you may consider going into your own practice. At that point, you would be earning income solely on the basis of billable patient encounters. Well-established and well-regarded independent dentists naturally earn more each year than salaried dentists.

The field of dentistry is unique in that there are a few different specialties of practice, including general dentistry, surgical dentistry, and cosmetic surgery. Because procedures covered under each specialty vary in price and demand, dentists in California can earn vastly different incomes between these specialties.

Keep in mind that location can impact your salary. Below you will find the average dentist salary in California by city:

  • Los Angeles: $129,000
  • San Diego: $117,000
  • San Jose: $150,000
  • San Francisco: $151,000

Dentist Schools