Whether you work as an associate at a dental practice or own a private practice, understanding the average pediatric dentist’s salary can help you benchmark your rates against the standard.

Pediatric dentistry requires a four-year degree from an accredited dental school (beyond the bachelor’s degree), a two-year pediatric residency program, and the national board dental examination, all adding to expensive education debts. Pediatric dentists can earn relatively high salaries to efficiently repay dental school loans, though many factors affect exact earnings. 

Below, our team at Weave discusses the average salary for pediatric dentists, factors influencing pay rates, and how you can increase your salary. While pediatric dentists can earn a livable wage, implementing efficiency tactics in their practices can improve revenue flow and earnings. 

If you’re a practice owner looking to grow your practice, click here to see our ebook on the dental staffing shortage.

The Average Pediatric Dentist Salary in the U.S.

The average pediatric dentist’s salary varies by source, though most pediatric dentists earn between $170,000 and $300,000. According to ZipRecruiter, the average pediatric dentist in the United States makes $255,538 annually, equating to $122.85 hourly or $4,914 per week. 7% of pediatric dentists in data analyzed by ZipRecruiter make as high as $399,500, while 2% of positions receive $97,000 to $124,499. 

Comparably shows the U.S. national average for pediatric dentists as lower, at $198,647. These data include an average $5,152 bonus making up 3% of the average salary. Comparably’s salary range for pediatric dentists in the U.S. also shows more variation, with entry positions at $37,592 and the highest earnings at $784,854. 

The above figures prove that many factors influence how much you might make as a pediatric dentist. 

Factors Affecting Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentist Salaries

All dental providers make varying salaries, depending on the factors below:


Cities with high living costs typically offer higher wages. ZipRecruiter’s data shows that pediatric dentists in North Carolina make an average of $186,982 annually, while Wyoming dentists can make $269,710 annually. The same trends appear with Comparably’s data, showing that San Francisco pediatric dentists can make 47% more than the national average.


Years of experience with pediatric dentist jobs can increase pay. Pediatric dentists with ample training and experience providing top-notch care, treatment services, and dental procedure success to young patients may regularly receive raises and promotions.


The dental care practice you work for or own also impacts rates. Dental service experts that work their way up to own or partner in a dental medicine practice can earn more profits than associates. Keep in mind that complications from dental insurance claims, overhead costs, and covered services may impact how much owners make.

Dental specialty

The type of dentistry or health care service you specialize in also impacts pay. For example, the average salaries for dental surgery, oral health specialists, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, child dentistry, tooth decay specialists (endodontists), and adult teeth dentists may vary. ZipRecruiter’s average salary for general dentistry jobs is $180,796, approximately $70,000 below the average pediatric dentist salary.

Pediatric dentist salaries differ from those of general dentists and other specialties because of the dental accreditation requirements when dealing with pediatric patients. Understanding dental hygiene for a child’s teeth requires specific academic as well as on-the-job training and experience. Pediatric dentists must attend a four-year doctorate program from an accredited American Dental Association organization and a two-year residency to help children obtain good oral health.

How Can a Pediatric Dentist Increase Their Salary?

While you cannot control all the factors above, you can take a few proactive steps to increase your salary as a pediatric dentist. 

Becoming a Practice Owner or Partner

Dental practice owners and dental associates may both work in dentistry, but they will likely have different jobs and salaries. A dentist that owns their practice is a business owner. 

As a business owner, you must juggle overhead costs, hiring, bills, training, equipment, advertising, claims, and more. With these increased responsibilities come higher pay rates. Practice owners and partners can make an average of $100,000 more than associates after covering business costs, allocating salaries, and enjoying the business profits. 

Dental associates don’t have to worry about the business end of things, though they typically make less because of the fixed, non-revenue-based income. Consider owning or partnering in a practice if you want to see substantial salary increases. 

Increasing Patient Acquisition and Retention

When you own a practice, you must prioritize patient acquisition and retention for optimal revenue flow. While your organization’s primary goal may be to improve public health, your salary depends on how well you run the business. 

To increase patient acquisition and retention, you need to provide top-notch customer service and dental care. Modern patients expect seamless experiences from appointment scheduling to payment collection and care communication. 

We recommend selecting dental software that allows you to integrate all of these experiences, and more, into one platform for your team and patients to enjoy. For example, Altius Dental used Weave to reduce missed calls by 50%, driving business value and strengthening patient experiences for improved retention rates, (to read more about Altius Dental’s experience, see our case study here). 

Marketing Your Practice

Acquiring new patients also requires marketing your services. With dental marketing, you must strike the right balance between offering a helping hand and not seeming too “salesy.” Ultimately, you want to help people learn about your practice when they need it most. 

We recommend the following marketing ideas:

  • Direct email marketing to your target audience
  • Google Local Service Ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization on your website
  • Review collection for improved website rankings and reputability


Investing in the Right Tools

Investing in the right tools for your business can make all the difference. You need a platform that can streamline complex, resource-wasting processes like health coverage verifications, health insurance claims, dental plan financing, patient scheduling, appointment reminders, and more. 

With Weave, you can automate these processes so your team can focus on providing excellent patient experiences. Our platform helps your business save money while attracting new patients and improving satisfaction rates. If you want to improve your pediatric dentist salary as a practice owner or partner, contact us at Weave today at 833-572-2139 to see how we can transform your organization. 

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