What is a Prosthodontist

A prosthodontist is an oral medical professional who constructs prostheses to replace missing teeth, or other oral structures to correct various deformations of the mouth and jaws. They help restore oral function, including chewing and speaking, and improve the visual appearance of the patient. For information on prosthodontist job duties, please visit our prosthodontist job description page.

Work Environment

The vast majority of prosthodontists work in the offices of dentists; indeed, while there are a few exceptions, it is quite rare to find prosthodontists working anywhere else. Those few exceptions are generally in private offices.

As they work in dentists’ offices, the work environment is generally clean and very well-lit, with plenty of space to make the work comfortable. They do work with a very small area (ie the mouth), so fine precision and close inspection is necessary. As well, they may spend a great deal of time hunched over their patient in the treatment process; prosthodontists will need to be mindful of their overall physical health, and take plenty of time to stretch.

Work Schedule

Prosthodontist work schedule is typically full time, generally with a standard forty-hour work week. On occasion, this may extend to longer periods, but on the whole, their services are not of an emergency nature, so will be well-scheduled in advance and not exceed the individual’s desired work schedule.

Mean Annual Prosthodontist Salary

The mean annual salary of a prosthodontist is $168,120. The mean salary is calculated by adding all the wages within the occupation and divid that value by the total number of employees. Lowest 10% of this occupation makes less than $56,150 and the top 10% makes well over $$220,000. The mean prosthodontist hourly salary is $80.83.

Prosthodontist Salary Per Year and Hourly: Quick Summary

2012 Mean Salary$168,120 per year
$80.83 per hour
Top 10% Salary$120,500 per year
$105.77 per hour
Bottom 10% Salary$56,150 per year
$27.00 per hour
Number of Jobs, 2012310

Prosthodontist Job Outlook

The job outlook for prosthodontists is misleadingly promising. With an expected 16 percent job growth in the coming ten years, it would appear to be a career with plenty of promise. However, as this only takes in to account the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ reports from 310 prosthodontists nationwide (a number which only includes dedicated prosthodontists, not dentists who also engage in prosthodontry), that equals about 50 new positions. Including those dentists with a subspecialty in prosthodontics, and who practice both, estimates for overall numbers are around 2500 prosthodontists, leading to an expected 400 new prosthodontists overall.

What Affects a Prosthodontist’s Salary

Due to the low number of dedicated prosthodontists in the country, prosthodontist salary must be considered both for those who are strictly prosthodontists, and for those dentists who have a subspecialty in prosthodontics. For those whose entire career is prosthodontics, the annual mean wage is $168,120, a wage that is primarily affected by the industry worked and experience. However, for those who work as a specialized dentist, salary has a mean of $164,780, and is affected by geographic location, and their position within their organization.

Education and Specialization 

Prosthodontists (and dentists in general) must be licensed in every state, with licensing requirements varying between each state. They must have graduated from an accredited dental school, generally with a doctorate of dental surgery (or DDS). A more prestigious school attended may offer some minor salary improvements, but is rarely a matter for consideration.

As prosthodontics is a specialization in and of itself, there is little room for further subspecialization. It is thus of little concern to prosthodontist salary.

Experience and Position 

Experience is a primary factor affecting a prosthodontist’s salary, leading to differences of more than $100,000. A starting prosthodontist may earn as little as $56,150, depending on their overall work schedule, and the industry in which they work. However, those who have worked for more than ten years will see wages closer to the mean, reaching $169,130 or more.

Position is a case more for those dentists who also specialize in prosthodontics; for such dentists, if working in a group practice, their increased specialty and ability may lead them to head the practice, and thus earn a higher wage. There are few other possibilities for position improvements.


For dedicated prosthodontists, industry is a major factor affecting the salaries of prosthodontists. Those working in the offices of dentists tend to earn the best wages, with an average of $176,900. For those who are dentists moonlighting as prosthodontists, this area has similar industry considerations, with those working in the federal executive branch earning $144,620; those in the offices of physicians seeing means of $153,650; and those working in outpatient care centers earning around $188,430.


Due to the low number of dedicated prosthodontists, there isn’t enough viable data (creating an unacceptable P value) to consider the geographic location’s affect on wages. However, for specialized dentists, the top three states are Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana, at $225,140; $215,040; and $212,570, respectively.

At the metropolitan level, wages are even greater, with Camden, NJ, offering the highest wages at $247,240. It is followed by Tulsa, OK, at $236,560, and Columbus, OH at $235,920.