What Are the Best States for Dentists to Work?

best states for dentists

According to the latest available statistics, most of the 196 thousand dentists in the USA are active in California.

That doesn’t mean that it’s the best place to practice dentistry though. We’ve taken a look at other aspects to determine which are the best states for dentists in the USA.

This is what we discovered.

The Best States for Dentists to Work in the USA

Where’s the best place to work as a dentist? It depends on the dentist. Not one state has it all, so it’s up to you to find the mix of criteria that suits you best.

States Where Dentists Earn the Most

A recent survey by Insider Monkey shows that dentists are some of the highest-paid professionals in the country. They were also kind enough to share their findings on which states pay their dentists the most.


Delaware is top of the list when it comes to high earnings, with an average annual salary of $227,160 for dentists.

Most of the population has health insurance and taxes are low. The entire state has a charming small town vibe, and the stunning beaches are another bonus.

While it may be one of the best paying states for dentists, it also has one of the worst crime rates in the country.

If you want to reap the financial benefits of working as a dentist in Delaware, it’s easy to put effective security measures in place. Click here to discover your options.

South Carolina

If you’re starting out in dentistry, South Carolina is the place to go. This state has one of the largest selections of available dentistry jobs. The average pay rate isn’t too shabby either at $195,350 per annum.

Make sure you have the correct licensure before you move to another state to practice.

Unfortunately, business could be a little slow in the Palmetto State. The good people of South Carolina tend to avoid visiting the dentist.

On the upside, the cost of living is low, the people are extremely polite, and the boiled peanuts are epic.


Wisconsin may only manage third place earnings-wise but it’s pretty high up otherwise.

The state manages 7th place overall when it comes to the number of dentists visits. Most of its residents earn more than the national average and many of them have insurance.

Wisconsin often tops the polls in livability studies with cheap rents, amazing nature, and a homely agricultural vibe. If you love cheese, history, or water parks, Wisconsin should be on your radar.

Where are Dentists Needed Most?

If you like to feel needed, you should consider working as a dentist in the following states. Here you’ll find the highest number of dentists jobs available according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.


The Sunshine state has a massive shortage of dentists, with 933 dentists needed to service the population of over 4 million people. The benefits of setting up shop in Florida are great too.

There’s also the awesome year-round weather. The beaches are fabulous and the theme parks are legendary. Florida does not tax its residents and the cost of living is reasonable.

On the downside, not a lot of people have health insurance in Florida and the state ranks 42nd on the list per number of dentist visits per year.


There’s a dearth of dentists in Arizona, with 432 dentists needed across the state. This could be due to almost half the population being on Medicaid and the other half with very little insurance.

Fortunately, the general well-being of Arizona’s people is high. There’s no need to worry about boredom in between patients though. The 300 days of sunshine a year, clean modern cities, and incredible natural assets of Arizona will see to that.


With a shortage of 402 dentists, the Lone Star state seems like a great place to set up shop. However, Texas comes bottom of the list with regard to insured patients.

Some of the benefits of living in Texas are cheap housing, a cost of living that’s below the national average and no income tax. Texas is also the home of genuine southern hospitality, the best barbecues, and awesome sports teams.

The Best of Both Worlds

Some states may not shine in any of the above areas but they have good all round prospects for dentists. These are some of the all-rounders offering a good living for the dentist trade.


If you can deal with the snowy winters, Minnesota is first prize for dentists. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has low crime rates, high median income and a large percentage of residents with health insurance. What’s more, 75% of the population is up to date with their dentist appointments.

During your downtime, you’ll find no shortage of outdoor activities, festivals and fine foods to enjoy in Minnesota. This is an affordable state to live in with an average salary for dentists hovering around the $190,000 mark.


Almost all of Iowa’s dental patients have health insurance and most of them visit the dentist once a year. Low crime rates, taxes, and utility costs contribute to the low cost of living and add to the appeal of this state,

It’s all about fried food, football, and friendliness in Iowa but this state is no slouch in the industry stakes. Des Moines is one of the wealthiest cities in all the land.


Don’t let the high cost of living put you off. Hawaii is a great place for dentists. Most Hawaiians place a high priority on dental wellbeing and most have health insurance.

Besides, what’s not to like about island-style living?

The Right Place for You

Whatever your lifestyle preferences, you are sure to find the perfect job for your skills and needs on our ADA career center pages.

Use the easy-to-navigate drop-down menus to look for jobs offered in the best states for dentists, or further afield.

Our website offers great career advice, tips for dentists and opportunities to continue your education. Keep reading.