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What Are the Different Types of Dentists (& How Much Do They Make)?

Highly trained medical providers who specialize in treating your mouth and teeth are better known as dentists. Oral health is more than just an afterthought, it’s an essential component of your overall health.

Moreover, taking good care of your teeth from an early age helps improve your chances of having good hygiene throughout your life.

You may be surprised to learn that there are several different kinds of dentists, all of which have their specialty in the field of dental care. Below are the different kinds of dentists along with their particular expertise.

What Types of Dentists Are There?

Here are the various dentists that you may come across, depending on your dental needs:

General Dentist

Anyone who graduates from dental school can practice as a general dentist. Chances are, if you’ve had a dentist appointment, you’ve already seen a general dentist; they are your primary dental care provider.

This dentist does the following:

  • Provides you with preventive education
  • Performs, fillings, crowns, root canals, bridges, and veneers
  • Treats, manages, and diagnoses your dental health care needs
  • Takes care of your gums

Average Salary: $235,997


A periodontist is trained to treat any diseased area of the mouth. Their job is to work to save all teeth unless they’re irreparably damaged or compromised. Periodontists specialize in treating problems with bone, gums, and any other tissue which supports the teeth.

Periodontists are capable of performing the following procedures:

  • Extraction of unsalvageable teeth
  • Bone grafting on areas that lack bone
  • Performing biopsies on suspicious areas of tissue
  • Implementing dental implants to support crowns to replace missing teeth
  • Reduce excess gums

Can even out the level of gums for aesthetic appeal by adding gum grafts to recessed areas lacking tissue

Average Salary: $196,395


Endodontists are highly trained dental specialists capable of repairing tissues inside the tooth with a certain level of complexity. Endodontists diagnose and intricate causes of tooth pain such as a tooth abscess or a cracked tooth.

Their additional training focuses on:

  • Performs emergency dental surgery
  • Performs dental implant surgery
  • Performs endodontic retreatment
  • Performs root canals
  • Can treat extreme dental trauma
  • Performs extraction surgery

Average Salary: $198,827


Orthodontists are specialized dentists who are trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat jaw and teeth irregularities.

Orthodontists will correct existing conditions and are trained to recognize problems that might develop in the future. These dentists work with both children and adults.

They treat the following abnormalities:

  • Jaw misalignment
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth that are too far apart are too crowded
  • If you have bite problems such as an underbite or an overbite

Average Salary: $319,172


Prosthodontists are dental specialists who have teeth replacements referred to as prostheses. These teeth can be both non-removable and removable for patients who are missing a few or even all of their teeth.

Replacements include:

  • Bridges and porcelain
  • Partial dentures
  • Full dentures

These specialists also can construct dentures for patients who’ve lost part of their jaw due to cancer, accidents, or any other defects.

Average Salary: $196,960

Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)

A Pediatric Dentist, also called a Pedodontist, specializes in diagnosing and treating dental ailments in babies, children, and even teenagers.

They provide:

  • Cavity removals
  • Oral health examinations
  • Dental repairs from injuries that result in fractured and displaced teeth
  • Gum disease management to avoid pediatric periodontal disease
  • They diagnose and treat crooked teeth early by straightening or correcting an improper bite.
  • Cleans teeth and performs fluoride treatments

Average Salary: $196,395

Thinking of becoming a Pediatric Dentist? We cover the steps and education needed to become a Pedodontist [LINK TO BLOG].

Oral Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perhaps are known best for their wisdom teeth extractions. However, these surgeons do more than just extractions.

Oral surgeons also perform the following:

  • Biopsies of odd-looking areas in the mouth
  • Anywhere where extraction is needed
  • Facial trauma surgery for accident victims
  • Corrective jaw surgery for people with misaligned jaws
  • TMD surgeries
  • Implant procedures and bone grafts

Average Salary: $282,000

Average Salaries For Each Type of Dentist

  • Orthodontist: $319,172
  • General dentist: $235,997
  • Oral surgeon: $282,000
  • Pedodontist: $251,500
  • Endodontist: $198,827
  • Prosthodontist: $196,960
  • Periodontist: $196,395

Hopefully you now have an idea of what different types of dentists there are, what they do, and how much they make on average per year!