how long is a dentist career

how long is a dentist career

How Long Is a Dentist Career?

Whether you’ve just started looking into a career as a dentist or you’re already a practicing professional, you may be wondering about the length of a dental career. Dentists enjoy satisfying and profitable careers, with plenty of opportunity to enhance skills and experience as demand requires.

Education Requirements

Dentistry is a specialized and regulated field of practice, with demanding educational qualifications. Becoming a dentist typically requires:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of two years of graduate school in an accredited program.
  • A passing score on a rigorous national exam.
  • A state license to practice.

Length of a Dentist Career

Once all educational and licensing requirements are met, a career as a dentist can generally span several decades. Typical retirement age falls between 60 and 65, allowing for a career of up to 30 – 35 years. Most dentists enjoy a six-day working week, with a flexible schedule that allows for full- and part-time employment, as well as the option to teach and research.

Salary and Professional Development

Dentistry is typically a well-paid and highly-respected profession, especially given the specialized nature of the practice. The average salary of a dentist, depending on the state and institution, is typically above $100,000 annually – and with 401(k) plans and other benefits, it can lead to a comfortable retirement.

Similarly, many dentists enjoy the opportunity to enhance their education and professional development as demand and technology requires. From continuing education programs to advanced specialty certifications and fellowships, dental practitioners enjoy a natural career length that continues to offer professional growth.


The length of a dentist career can span decades, with a satisfying salary and plenty of opportunity to enhance professional experience and accolades. A comprehensive educational process and a state license to practice enable dental practitioners with the ability to transcend time, technology and demand – and potentially, enjoy a career that’s decades long.

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