Are you considering a career as a dentist and wondering how much does a dentist make in Canada?

The Canadian Dental Association describes dentistry as an “artistic as well as scientific profession. Dentists must have an artist’s aesthetic sense, an eye for detail and manual dexterity to perform precise procedures… Dentists must also be good communicators”. This range of aptitudes, plus high educational requirements, is reflected in salaries.

Dental School

Usually, a university science degree is completed before acceptance into a dental program for four years. This qualifies someone for a profession as a general dentist. Those seeking one of the specialty professions must complete another three years of schooling, for a master of science degree, and a residency.

Dental Specialties

In Canada, there are nationally-recognized dental specialties, which usually mean a higher paid salary. The specialties are:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral Medicine and Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology or Surgery
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics

How Much Does a Dentist Make in Canada? 

The average salary of dentists typically falls between $70,000 and $400,000 annually, with a median income of around $175,000. Some reports indicate earnings exceeding $500,000.

What Impacts Average Salary?

The average dentist salary in Canada is impacted by location, experience level, specialty, practice model, and other factors.

Pay by Location

Dentist salaries in Canada are impacted by both province or territory and city. Various job sites highlight job pay differences by location, based on self-reported incomes.

According to these, Ontario has the highest average reported net production can be around $180,000. For cities, Windsor, Ontario is reported as having the highest base dentist average salary at $267,343. Calgary, Alberta is next, with $257,565. The top eight cities in Canada are all in Ontario or Alberta, other than Labrador City, Newfoundland and Vancouver, British Columbia.  Now again, this does not necessarily mean what the dentist made in net production, it is what they pull out of their Dental Professional Corporations as income.

Pay by Experience Level

A dentist with under a year of experience can expect to earn a total salary around $125,000. With 1-4 years of experience, this increases to $200,00+. A dentist with 5+ years of experience on average earns $200,000+.

Practice Model

Dentists work in a variety of organizational environments, or practice models. Early in their careers, dentists often seek employment as associates in a small practice or as salaried employees in companies for the experience. A dentist may receive bonuses, which are generally uncommon, in these jobs. Some later go on to start their own practice in the industry.

Pay by Skill or Specialty

The job title and specialty make a great impact on dentist salaries. Specialized skills such as diagnosis and treatment planning, oral surgery, prosthodontics, and others tend to have a higher overall wage, while a general dentist tends to earn below average.

How Can Dentists Increase Salary?

Dentists in Canada can increase salaries by increasing education to qualify for specialty jobs. Changing employers can make a difference as well. Within dentistry companies, having management experience and managing junior dental employees increases salaries.

Dental Practice Management Software

Regardless of which job path you choose, spending time on administrative and accounting chores is exhausting and cuts into your pay per hour.

Dental practice management software programs save on time that’s better spent on patient care. It helps you manage appointments, finances, and other daily administration. You then reduce your non-productive time, while managing your business more efficiently and effectively.

At Dentaltax, we are professional accountants and advisors who create customized tax planning for dentists and financial solutions for every career stage. We support practices in moving forward, using comprehensive tax planning, giving you more time for patients.

We personally take on your goals, working hard to help you reach them, using our meticulous tax preparation and dental accounting services.

Adam Tenaschuk

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