What Does a Part-Time Dentist’s Salary Look Like?


What Does a Part-Time Dentist’s Salary Look Like?

Part-time dentist working on young patient.

One of the best things about a dental career is its fantastic potential for a flexible schedule. As a dentist, you can usually build a schedule with plenty of time to enjoy life outside work. For many dentists, working part-time can give them enough income to pay the bills while enjoying plenty of free time. There are many reasons to consider following the part-time path. Before you commit, be sure a part-time dentist’s salary will work for you!

What Does Part-Time Mean in Dentistry?

Even a “full-time” schedule for a dentist doesn’t mean the same thing as for other careers. Where most people in the U.S. consider full-time work to be 40 to 45 hours per week (and frequently more than that!), just 30-35 hours per week is considered full-time for a dentist. Even so, according to the ADA, part-time dentist jobs have been on the rise. On average, a part-time dentist works around 20 hours per week, a very attractive prospect to many dentists.

As previously discussed, work-life balance is essential for a dentist’s career longevity. That’s why many dentists choose to work part-time. There are various ways to manage a part-time dental schedule, however. For example, many young, hungry dentists may stack part-time gigs, working 20 hours in one office and 20 in another for 40 hours per week. In other cases, dentists may travel between offices, working long hours for a few weeks, then enjoying a week or two off. 

Dentist smiling at a young female patient.

Even if you choose an ownership path, you’ll have some control over your office’s hours. Many dentists, for example, decide to start the day very early. Patients can come in for cleanings before work, and the dental team can close earlier in the afternoon, giving them more free time in the evenings. Many dentists work slightly longer days four days per week, then forego Friday hours and get a three-day weekend every week! Practice owners obviously invest more time in the practice than associates typically do between keeping up their clinical hours and taking care of the administrative side of the business. But that’s where an outstanding DSO can step in and relieve them of some of those non-clinical tasks. Even without the help of a DSO, however, practice owners get a significant amount of control over their schedules.

The point is dental schedules can be incredibly flexible! Keeping an open mind regarding your schedule as a dentist is essential. But before you decide whether shorter hours will work for you, it’s important to consider whether a part-time dentist’s salary will give you the kind of income you’re looking for.

What Does a Part-Time Dentist’s Salary and Benefits Look Like?

Let’s start with the obvious: a part-time dentist’s salary will likely be lower than a full-time salary. However, many aspects factor into your pay as a dentist. For example, full-time dentists may earn a salary plus some portion of their production. There are a ton of different ways to get paid as a dentist. A part-time dentist’s salary could be paid as an hourly wage or a set salary. You’ll probably still get a portion of your production as well. With a consistently full schedule, you could stand to make a nice living as a part-timer!

Part-time dentist giving a high five to young patient.

Like in other industries, part-time dentist salaries frequently don’t include benefits. That can take a considerable chunk of change out of your income, even if you plan to stack part-time dentist positions. In fact, some practices offer part-time dentist positions to avoid offering benefits.

At CDP, we do things differently. Our part-time dentist salaries include an excellent benefit package. We offer a monthly allowance for medical, dental, and even vision benefits. We also extend generous stipends toward Continuing Education credits to all our dentists. Remember that practicing dentistry comes with certain costs. For example, you must carry malpractice insurance to protect yourself and your practice. Rather than leaving that expense up to you, we include malpractice coverage funds in our part-time dentists’ benefits package.

Lab fees are another hidden expense in practicing dentistry. Many practices require their doctors to pay their own lab fees. That can eat away at your percentage paid on production and lead you toward inferior materials in the hopes of keeping more of the money you’ve earned. That’s why CDP covers lab fees and materials for all our doctors. We want your patients to get the best treatment possible. We also want you to keep what you’ve earned! It’s another way to ensure your part-time dentist’s salary will work for you.

A Part-Time Dentist Salary Might Work Better in Rural Areas

A part-time dentist’s salary may be the perfect arrangement, giving you plenty of free time to enjoy while providing a great income. However, whether part-time work will give you enough money to live the way you want will depend largely on where you live and practice.

Working where you’re most needed may mean working in a rural location. Aside from offering great opportunities to provide dental care for underserved communities, working outside dense urban centers can also mean a lower cost of living. That means your money will go further, and your part-time dentist’s salary could provide an excellent quality of life!

Working where you're most needed may mean working in a rural location. Aside from offering great opportunities to provide dental care for underserved communities, working outside dense urban centers can also mean a lower cost of living. That means your money will go further, and your part-time dentist's salary could provide an excellent quality of life!

CDP has put in years of research into the ideal places to put our practices. We help dentists work where their skills will help the people who need it most. Because of the structure of our organization, we can also offer many dentists opportunities to travel between offices! Depending on the location, we frequently pay for travel expenses. We also have a team who will help you book flights and hotels and handle all the details! That means you’ll have endless opportunities to pick up work on a schedule that works for you. It also means fresh new experiences and great pay!

Pros and Cons of Both Options

If a part-time dentist’s salary could provide all the money you need, why would anyone work full-time? Sure, the extra income is great, but so is having all that free time. Remember that your decision to work part-time or full-time can affect your growth as a dentist.

There are two primary considerations when considering how many hours you want to work. Especially early in your career, the number of hours you put in can directly affect your progress as a new clinician. Working full-time will allow you to hone your skills and build your competence and confidence faster. On the other hand, young, hungry dentists frequently overwork themselves right out of the gate. That recipe for burnout can seriously damage your love for the job.

Only you can know whether full-time or part-time work is right for you. Every dentist is different. Luckily, CDP has job opportunities that fit every dentist! Schedule a call with a Hiring Manager to discuss our part-time dentist salaries and learn more about a great dental career at CDP!

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Tiffany Green
Tiffany Green Director of Clinical Recruiting Community Dental Partners

A distinguished graduate of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business Operations Management and Marketing, she holds an MBA and MS from the University of Texas at Arlington, specializing in Operations Management and Human Resources.

With a rich experience spanning over a decade, Tiffany has been a trailblazer in the Human Resources realm. She has consistently made a profound impact, from talent management and system implementation to employee relations and training & development.

Presently, Tiffany serves as the Director of Clinical Recruiting at Community Dental Partners. She manages the entire life cycle of doctor recruitment, optimizing the customer journey from lead generation to lead conversion. She leads in developing and supporting CDP's innovative recruiting platform to strategically enhance brand awareness utilizing multiple strategic marketing strategies.

Nestled in Texas with her loving family—husband and three children—Tiffany finds joy in spontaneous adventures, embracing natural wellness, and savoring life in gratitude with a cup of coffee. Her enthusiasm lies in connecting doctors with opportunities that bring about tangible and fundamental changes in people's lives while radiating the passion to make the whole world smile!

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