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New Grads: Approximately How Much Do You Make In Billings Per Month?

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Just curious what the average billing is per month for new grads? Any new grads on here want to share? I just finished my 3rd month, and I billed about $24,000 last month, I took home about $9000 last month (40% collections minus lab fees).  This is in BC.

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I'm not a new grad (2012). Now a days how much you earn has very little to do with how good or how fast or how experienced you are. It is much more important that you have a lot of patients and work to do. A slow new grad with a lot of patients will earn way more than an experienced dentist who only has 3-4 patients booked per day.

 

I made more in my first year out than I'm going to make my fifth year out.

 

I'm in Toronto. I've had months as high as $50,000 billings (close to $20,000 take home). I don't consider that a realistic goal in Toronto. My average is much lower and especially so for the past six months. Lately the office I work for has hired a second full time associate so my workload and income has been cut nearly in half and I'm not very happy about that. I've been taking home maybe $8000 per month. Not amazing. I have to supplement it by taking other dental work opportunities where I can.

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I also understand that the degree which your days are filled is in large part determined by dentistry saturation - worse in big centres like TO and Vancouver - much better in far flung places such as Timmins - where they have trouble recruiting enough dentists who want to live there - hence your days are full and take home is higher.

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There aren't a lot of dentists on here, so you likely won't get a lot of replies.

 

I'm not a new grad, but I billed ~50K my first full month working 4 days a week, after lab my 40% was ~17K. I'm in Ontario.

 

There isn't really an average for new grads because it's so incredibly variable.

Unless you take over a full patient load like I did initially, it takes time to build up to a full schedule and that will really depend on your patient flow.

How much a new grad bills will depend mostly on how busy they are.

 

At my new job where I am building up a patient base from scratch, I think I made 5K my first month?? I had a lot of holes in my schedule for the first several months. Only now 6 months in an I running a consistently full schedule.

 

Yeah. same with me. My first month was very slow and I only made 4K. But since then, I have become more busier and more proficient. 

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I think like Malkynn said this is highly variable with location, your speed, how many hours/days you work, and the type of procedure you're willing to tackle first year out but I've heard it range from ~15k to 80k a month gross billing but average is probably right around your number.

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I'm not a new grad (2012). Now a days how much you earn has very little to do with how good or how fast or how experienced you are. It is much more important that you have a lot of patients and work to do. A slow new grad with a lot of patients will earn way more than an experienced dentist who only has 3-4 patients booked per day.

 

I made more in my first year out than I'm going to make my fifth year out.

 

I'm in Toronto. I've had months as high as $50,000 billings (close to $20,000 take home). I don't consider that a realistic goal in Toronto. My average is much lower and especially so for the past six months. Lately the office I work for has hired a second full time associate so my workload and income has been cut nearly in half and I'm not very happy about that. I've been taking home maybe $8000 per month. Not amazing. I have to supplement it by taking other dental work opportunities where I can.

 

one of the big reasons why you should purchase a practice and be your own boss 

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I am not a new grad, but first year practicing in Toronto after working in USA for two years. My average collection per month is  ~$30 000 this year for working part times in two different offices working 4.5 days a week. One of offices currently I work for suddenly hired 3 foreign trained dentists who is willing to do scaling so my workload and income has been cut.  I agreed that your income depends on the the patient flow and  number of recall exams you do. But your diagnostic skill and ability to educate patient to do the treatment after you make the diagnosis also affect your billing. 

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Just curious, but why would a clinic owner want dentists doing cleanings taking 40% instead of hygienists getting paid $35ish/hr?

Am I missing something?

 

Just as an example, if the owner wanted to keep to office open longer hours/more days, they have to have a dentist there but don't necessarily need a hygienist there.  The associate can see a mix of hygiene and dentist patients.

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I work 32 hours a week and average about $13-14k a month (takehome, not billings). This is sort of spread out over busy and not-so-busy time periods. I worked really hard one month (something like 45 clinical hours a week) and it was particularly busy at one office and made about $22k but that could've been higher to be honest. On a particularly slow month I might have made under $10k.

 

I am going to be adding another 6 hours of work a week soon so I expect my average income to maybe hit an average of $15-17k. A bit wary of burning out though as most of my hours are at a very far office.

 

It could be better but it could be worse. Sometimes I'm busy, sometimes I'm not. You really have to look at the big picture sometimes, not the nitty-gritties. When I come in to work and half my schedule has cancelled, I know it happens sometimes, and on another day I might come in with a slammed schedule and be praying for people to cancel.

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I work 32 hours a week and average about $13-14k a month (takehome, not billings). This is sort of spread out over busy and not-so-busy time periods. I worked really hard one month (something like 45 clinical hours a week) and it was particularly busy at one office and made about $22k but that could've been higher to be honest. On a particularly slow month I might have made under $10k.

 

I am going to be adding another 6 hours of work a week soon so I expect my average income to maybe hit an average of $15-17k. A bit wary of burning out though as most of my hours are at a very far office.

 

It could be better but it could be worse. Sometimes I'm busy, sometimes I'm not. You really have to look at the big picture sometimes, not the nitty-gritties. When I come in to work and half my schedule has cancelled, I know it happens sometimes, and on another day I might come in with a slammed schedule and be praying for people to cancel.

 

Cleanup, thank you for the post. What is your procedural mix? Are you looking into CE to include more and/or higher producing procedures?

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Thanks Malkynn.

 

Great to hear you like prostho, because a lot of students despise dentures haha.

 

Based on our correspondence, it appears that you decided to take on less profitable procedures for your enjoyment and you are happy with that. So it's not a bad thing at all! And your lifestyle is hard to beat.

 

Does the owner earn everything from hygiene and you and the owner split new exams and recall exams? How does hygiene work?

 

Do you do molar endo? 

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Cleanup, thank you for the post. What is your procedural mix? Are you looking into CE to include more and/or higher producing procedures?

To be honest about 90% of what I do is restorative/pediatrics. I might pull a few teeth a week, and do a few endos here and there. I don't do removable prostho and the patient population here does not lend itself well to fixed prostho -- people I find are often game to replace teeth so we do a lot of single tooth implants (which I treatment plan but do not place or restore yet) but very few are game for preventive crowns.

 

I have done a lot of CE but have found some of it kind of useless and in retrospect a bit of a waste of money (for example, Invisalign--it is NOT a good way to get into ortho and until I find someone who is going to teach me I won't really touch ortho with even a very long stick). I want to get into third molar exodontia soon but that may not happen at this office (we have an in-house surgeon) much. It probably will at my other office I am starting at soon. 

 

So this office I sort of treat as a drill-and-fill, turn-my-brain-off sort of office where I can do fairly simple, straightforward work and if I have a busy day I make a good income. I have learned a lot about patient management, chairside manner, kids, etc. It also teaches me to be quite fast and efficient with restorative and juggling it with exams/hygiene. I'd say I finish the majority of my restorative appointments early (so I'm going to start booking less time soon). The other office I'm going to treat as more of a learning opportunity where I can do more complex treatment planning and procedures, and I won't worry too much about the money yet.

 

I know you asked Cleanup, but he and I are fairly similar in billings, so I'll answer as well.

(I work 3 days a week, so ~25 hours of chair time/week and bill ~$2500/day after lab, which pays me ~$1000/day)

 

I do basic dentistry with a fair amount of crown and bridge. Some endos, no exos right now (shoulder injury), dentures because I enjoy them, and a little bit of laser dentistry, which I'm just getting into because my clinic has a great laser, so why not?

 

Most of the CE I've taken has actually made me less profitable, lol. I'm in a Pankey/Spear-style practice so I spend a very loooong time on new patient exams, I pretty much lose money on night guards even though I do a lot of them (again, Pankey), and I spend a lot of unpaid hours mounting study models and carefully examining the occlusion on every crown that comes back on the articulator (lol, good ol' Pankey).

But I enjoy what I'm doing a lot more now.

 

Ugh, don't even get me started on the fact that I'm now slower at fillings now that I do them the way that my clinic owner does because I couldn't stand the thought of not working to her standard.

 

If I wasn't busy, I would probably take CE on endo and placing implants.

 

My new principles are Pankey trained. I am a bit wary of all the extra work that's gonna come with working with them haha, but I am looking forward to the learning experience. However 3 appointments for a nightguard (albeit a very expensive nightguard) makes me feel a bit strange. Any tips on how to approach with an open mind? Feel free to PM.

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Thank you Cleanup and Malkynn. I heard Rick's Powerprox 6 month braces is a very good CE course.

 

Cleanup, I understand that you work in a very saturated market and therefore you must travel quite far to one of your two offices that you associate in. However, it appears that you are still doing quite well for yourself (albeit, with some burnout). Do you envision staying in both offices long-term?

 

To both Cleanup and Malkynn, have either of your felt the need to "sell" treatment? Maybe less for Malkynn, but Cleanup you work in quite a competitive environment. Further, Cleanup, are you happy with your situation right now in terms of finances and professional development?

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Gotcha, Malkynn. I guess I was trying to ask between "selling" because they actually need it and "selling" to meet a bottom line. The former is encouraged while the latter hinges on ethics.

 

I want to step in and say something about "selling". 

 

We as dentists shouldn't be "selling" anything.

Patients need treatment, and education about their situation and what can be done for their problems because 99% of them don't know what they need and it's up to us to educate them about their oral health. Which I think IMO is very overlooked by a vast majority of people.

 

There's always IDEAL treatment which is probably the best in certain cases and then there's real life where patient's can't afford things like implants and crowns so you do the best you can and tell them this is what we're doing BECAUSE of _________.

 

As much as I don't want to admit it, anything that dentists do is a compromise compared to what mother nature gave you..... so the best treatment is probably prevention from the beginning 

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Let's not argue semantics. I don't like the term "selling" either but mainly because people can misinterpret its meaning just as some people already have here.

 

Malkynn is not talking about pushing treatment to meet her bottom line. She's talking about pushing necessary treatment that will benefit the patient. Most patients are woefully unaware of anything dentistry. You don't sell the treatment to them to make a profit. You sell it to them because you have their best interests at heart. I sell expensive treatment to patients, like implants and ortho. I also sell very inexpensive treatment to patients, like nightguards and fluoride rinses. I am always selling. I even sell free treatment; convincing them to let me do something at no financial cost to them because I know it will benefit them, despite their skepticism.

 

Selling, in my case, almost always results in patient gratitude. It has nothing to do with my bottom line.

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Thank you Cleanup and Malkynn. I heard Rick's Powerprox 6 month braces is a very good CE course.

 

Cleanup, I understand that you work in a very saturated market and therefore you must travel quite far to one of your two offices that you associate in. However, it appears that you are still doing quite well for yourself (albeit, with some burnout). Do you envision staying in both offices long-term?

 

To both Cleanup and Malkynn, have either of your felt the need to "sell" treatment? Maybe less for Malkynn, but Cleanup you work in quite a competitive environment. Further, Cleanup, are you happy with your situation right now in terms of finances and professional development?

 

Six month braces is about aesthetics. It completely ignores occlusion and a lot of other nuances of orthodontics. There's a reason why the average comprehensive course of ortho treatment takes 18 months. I'm not saying it's a bad treatment modality; sometimes nice, straight, maxillary front teeth are all a patient wants and they want it pronto. But they have to understand the consequences and I think pigeonholing all ortho patients into that modality is wrong; I have similar feelings about people trying to do everything with Invisalign.

 

I travel about 45-50 minutes oneway to my far office. It's about 70 km away. It's an easy drive, but a long and boring one. It's actually well within the GTA, but on the borders of it. I can see myself staying at the far office but I will be cutting down, and if they don't let me cut down, then yes, I'll quit. The distance coupled with a few other things just don't make it worth it long-term for me. At the moment it's only because it's a decent income and I like the people there. But I have to look out for myself otherwise.

 

I just treatment plan whatever I think the patient needs. I've never really felt the need to treatment plan more aggressively or more expensive treatments. All I do is recognize issues and suggest solutions. I will however encourage patients to accept treatment that I truly believe will benefit them, regardless of cost (heck, I'm still terrible with codes, insurance, etc. and I don't even know how much 99% of treatment costs). I am fortunate in that in the short time I have with the patient (we unfortunately don't do long, comprehensive new patient exams like Malkynn does at her practice--I do believe this is the right way to do it, even though you essentially lose money while doing them), I am very good at building rapport with patients and educating them pretty quickly on whats going on with their mouth. I don't do a lot of complex treatment but I have 'sold' a lot of expensive treatment; lots of ortho, implants, full mouth rehabs, etc. for my principal. It's a skill that you have to learn, but in my honest opinion it comes first and foremost from your character and communication skills. I make it a point to help every patient feel comfortable and I want them leaving happier than they arrived. Genuinely nothing feels better than a patient being impressed with you and thanking you sincerely before you go. 

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Thanks Cleanup and Malkynn! I appreciate your insight. Every so often, I hear dentists being compared to "salesmen" and I see a stark difference in nature of work. Just wanted to hear some thoughts about this topic. I meant to ask it in the most respectful manner.

 

Yes I completely agree with you re: ortho and occlusion. Also explains why it's pretty key to refer out Class IIIs. Those are pretty tough cases.

 

It looks like you are generally quite fulfilled professionally. I'm glad to hear things have been working out for you, Cleanup! It seems like working at the tips of the GTA is still viable in terms of patient load and finances, albeit a longer drive. Just gotta get creative and flexible with the associate positions.

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Six month braces is about aesthetics. It completely ignores occlusion and a lot of other nuances of orthodontics. There's a reason why the average comprehensive course of ortho treatment takes 18 months. I'm not saying it's a bad treatment modality; sometimes nice, straight, maxillary front teeth are all a patient wants and they want it pronto. But they have to understand the consequences and I think pigeonholing all ortho patients into that modality is wrong; I have similar feelings about people trying to do everything with Invisalign.

 

Bingo, I was about to write about the 6 month braces. It totally ignore occlusion, yes you will have straight and aligned front teeth but that is it.

 

It is just a selling point. everything has limitations, even invisalign, it can't treat everything compared to wires and brackets.

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I wouldn't say that.  you are not there to sell treatments.  However, there are practices that push certain treatment (especially large corp).

You are there to diagnose and treat, you provide info on risks, benefits and alternatives on the proposed treatment.  I let pt decide what they want to do.

And I will never answer "what would you do in this case?"  Because it is such a leading question that will influence their decision.

 

I see a lot of oral path, I don't force people into biopsy if I think it is benign, can I be 100% certain the diagnosis, of course not without tissue confirmation.  However, if it think it is serious, I will make sure that gets done.

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