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How Long To Become A Orthodontist
A typical dentist earns a six-figure salary. But years of dental school and specialized training in orthodontics mean racking up more than six student loans.
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What are the best ways for orthodontists to pay off student loans? And is it worth taking on so much debt to become a dentist? Let’s explore the answers to these questions.
Patients have a love-hate relationship with dentists. On the other hand, the orthodontic appliances and treatments required to create the perfect bite or smile are uncomfortable and can be difficult. But there are few things more satisfying than watching a patient’s reaction when, at the end, the treatment plan is over and they can smile freely.
Aside from the cosmetic problem, what is actually happening is that dentists are treating malocclusion, a condition in which the teeth do not fit together when the mouth is closed. This condition can be caused by misaligned teeth, an improper bite, a misaligned jaw, or something more serious.
Due to the extensive knowledge of dentistry, dentists require a very high level of education. First, they must complete a four-year dental school program with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Then complete a two- to three-year orthodontic residency permit program. Finally, they must pass a written and medical exam to become a board-certified physician. This board certification must be renewed every 10 years.
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It is a long and expensive road full of hard work. But it would be nice to see improvements in the patient’s health, as well as an increase in wages.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a dentist is $267,280. So how does it compare to other dentists?
The American Dental Association, along with the Institute for Health Policy, surveyed nearly 1,500 dentists’ salaries in 2019.
Studies have shown that dentists earn more than general dentists. Among those dentists, dentist salary is high.
International Association Of Orthodontics
General dentists earn $160,000, and non-specialists earn $257,000 — up nearly $100,000. In particular, dentists earned more than prosthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists, and even endodontists. According to the ADA survey, dentists earned an average of $353,000.
Population can have a big impact on doctors’ salaries. Orthodontists who do not live in major metro areas tend to earn more than those who live in densely populated areas.
The dental clients we work with here at Student Loan Planner® typically make less than $200,000 and live in major cities. However, those working in more rural areas may earn more. $400,000.
As mentioned earlier, practice ownership plays an important role in income. Orthodontists who set up shop in a less competitive area can make over $500,000 from what we’ve seen.
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With so much income based on the use of your hands, you’ll likely want to protect your medical income from being reduced by disability.
You can submit your information below to receive quotes from “The Big 5” real carriers for your business with our SLP Insurance agency. Regardless, we also look at residential program discounts across the country to find you the best policy.
Dental school is expensive as it is. But when you add in two to three years of orthodontic residency, student loan debt can add up quickly. The large increase in debt is due to higher residential tuition and interest earned on dental school debt for three years of additional education.
The average dentist we work with has $388,000 in student debt. Meanwhile, the average dentist has $597,000 in debt. That’s $209,000 more in student loan debt than general dentists. This load is also one of the highest debt loads we’ve seen at Student Loan Planner®.
Creating The Perfect Smile
Additionally, many of our highest paying tips have been with dentists. The ten dentists we worked with had over $750,000 in student loans. Yes, we even had two interviews with dentists with over $1,000,000 in student loans.
Yes, being a dentist is expensive. But there is a student loan plan that can be built around a dentist’s career goals.
Let’s take the example of a regular dentist. Anthony owes $600,000 in student loans and earns $350,000 a year. Is it better for him to take an aggressive approach to paying off his student loans by refinancing in 10 years or less? Or should you pay as little as possible to maximize the forgiveness of taxable credits?
We will remove REPAYE from the process. It is the most expensive way to pay off the debts of the three options. This result is mainly due to making eligible payments against the PAYE scheme for a further five years.
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Refinancing can be attractive. This gets Anthony out of 10 years of debt and costs him very little ($746,197 in total payments). The downside is that you’ll have to pay off $6,218 in student loans over 10 years, which could prevent you from saving for other financial goals like orthodontics or buying a home.
PAYE may appeal because lower earnings-based payments allow other financial goals to be met. Based on his income of $350,000, the payments are $2,761. That’s $3,500 less per month than a refinance, which has additional cash flow to meet other goals. But, on the other hand, it will take 20 years to become debt free.
The tricky part of the analysis is that while the refinance costs $300,000 less PAYE when looking at out-of-pocket costs, the present value is the same.
What does that mean? Given inflation at 3% and a potential return on investment of 5% due to the difference in payments, Anthony would be exactly the same financially regardless of which option he chose.
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With that in mind, I would rely on PAYE and save aggressively on the side. Credit policy is a big wash. However, he was able to study medicine, which allowed him to increase his income. In addition, you can claim statutory business deductions and pension plan contributions from both the employer and the employee. This policy may reduce his income. In turn, it will reduce PAYE payments and total PAYE costs compared to the estimate above.
We are only looking at this situation. However, any orthodontist student loan repayment plan will vary based on income, student loan amount, practice ownership goals, spousal income, student loan status, and other factors.
Deciding whether a career as a dentist is worth the cost is a tough call. So let’s talk about it.
The student loan amount required to become a dentist is only part of the picture. What matters is how much it will cost to repay the loan and how much you can earn compared to taking out a loan. Let’s see a comparison with a general dentist.
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Figures show the average dentist earns an average of $201,000 and has $388,000 in student loan debt. The orthodontic practice owner has approximately $353,000 in earnings and $597,000 in debt.
Estimated student loan repayments for general dentistry are $622,000 using PAYE. The estimated salary for a dentist is $1,040,000 in PAYE.
A dentist can earn $152,000 more than a general dentist. Let’s say a dentist is in the 40% tax bracket (federal and state). So they take home an extra $91,200 a year. Additional loan repayment costs are expected to be $418,000.
At this rate, it would take about 4.6 years for a dentist to earn enough money to pay the taxes on his high debt load. In other words, the dentist can recoup the additional costs of the orthodontic residency within five years.
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It also takes three years to earn $200,000 or more per year to earn additional certification compared to a dental hygienist. After completing the three-year residency, it will take 4.5 years to become a general dentist.
It will take 12 years if you add 7.5 years to pay off a general dentist’s salary and 4.5 years to pay off additional student debt.
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