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Settling in Canada after Dental School?


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First time using this site so mind me if this isn't in the right forum. I'm a current undergrad at UNC who wants to pursue a career in dentistry. My family however moved to Canada for personal reasons and was wondering how the career is like up there if I choose to move there in the future after I become a dentist (hopefully). One of the main reasons I want to become a dentist is because I like doing the surgical procedures a surgeon gets to do without the grueling hours - flexibility/weekends off is very important to me. Most dentist offices in the US are only open Monday-Friday, with only a half day on Fridays, if they are even open. However, when I look up the hours of various dental clinics near where my family lives, I see that they are open 6, sometimes all 7 days of the week and are open until 8am-8pm. Is this because there are rotating dentists? Are the hours still as flexible as the hours of a dentist in America? What about the salary? Will I still be able to pay off my student loans in Canadian dollars rather than USD? Can a current Canadian dentist answer or anyone who knows what dentistry is like in Canada answer? Thanks.

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From what I've heard, you would make more in the US because you'd be taxed pretty heavily over here. As for the hours I've found a lot of dentists in my area at least practice one day on the weekend. I think this opens up their practice to more clients because there are some that only go to ones open on the weekend. Also it really depends on the dentist and what hours they choose to work. You could work a few days a week or everyday but then you might be working yourself to death. How much you'd make also depends on what area of Canada as well. A small city where you're the only dentist= $$$$$$. Lots of variables and things to think about and I probably didn't answer all your questions well/ at all but hopefully you learned like one thing from my long dumb paragraph

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19 minutes ago, caligirl97 said:

Most dentist offices in the US are only open Monday-Friday, with only a half day on Fridays, if they are even open. However, when I look up the hours of various dental clinics near where my family lives, I see that they are open 6, sometimes all 7 days of the week and are open until 8am-8pm. Is this because there are rotating dentists? Are the hours still as flexible as the hours of a dentist in America? What about the salary? Will I still be able to pay off my student loans in Canadian dollars rather than USD? Can a current Canadian dentist answer or anyone who knows what dentistry is like in Canada answer? Thanks.

Good questions. The poster above me has some good answers but the reimbursement in Canada is typically far better than in the US. Recall that professional corporations will also defer and reduce your taxes and thus income is quite comparable if not higher in Canada based on many anecdotes from Canadian and American dentists. 

They may have associates working the weekends/evenings. The hours are very flexible and in less saturated regions, the norm is 4 days/week and about 32-34 hours/week of clinical work. 

Salary is based on collections minus overhead. The more you produce and the more you collect, the more you can take home assuming you manage overhead well. There are some numbers that I have received anecdotally and all of them show that you will live a comfortable life for the most part. So don't sweat it.

In terms of loan repayment, have you considered IBR? 

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Just now, Steins;Gate said:

Good questions. The poster above me has some good answers but the reimbursement in Canada is typically far better than in the US. Recall that professional corporations will also defer and reduce your taxes and thus income is quite comparable if not higher in Canada based on many anecdotes from Canadian and American dentists. 

They may have associates working the weekends/evenings. The hours are very flexible and in less saturated regions, the norm is 4 days/week and about 32-34 hours/week of clinical work. 

Salary is based on collections minus overhead. The more you produce and the more you collect, the more you can take home assuming you manage overhead well. There are some numbers that I have received anecdotally and all of them show that you will live a comfortable life for the most part. So don't sweat it.

In terms of loan repayment, have you considered IBR? 

I like how nicely you put it I was incorrect. Thank u for thinking about my feelings 

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6 hours ago, caligirl97 said:

Um... what do you think it means?

You will be able to pay back loans with Canadian dollars. It will require a change of currency which is not an issue at all.

Rest assured that as an American or Canadian graduate of dental school that you can practice in either country and pay back loans with whichever currency the bank is happy with. I hope this helps

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you'll do just fine, the average canadian dentist makes 120-140k a year and the amount you make is tied to how much your willing to work, were your willing to work and wether or not you run your own clinic. But with that said if you stay in the US to get your degree then it might be easier for you to pay your loans off by staying in the US, since at least currently the Canadian dollar is in the shiter (1CAD = 0.78USD)   

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10 minutes ago, Driillzz said:

What, in ur opinion, is a more accurate estimate of Canadian dentists' income?

Income is based on your collections minus your overhead in a private practice. The more you produce and collect, given the same percentage of overhead (which actually decreases as you increase in production since you will have fixed expenses and variable expenses), the greater your net. And then you would pay yourself a reasonable income that you report as income tax and keep the rest in your professional corporation to be taxed at a different and much lower rate which will be taxed in the future at a lower rate (especially when you take the money out of the corp as your retire).

There is no such thing as an average income realistically. I have asked many people in this field including tax accountants specifically serving dentists. They provide a myriad of numbers, for GP and for different specialties, so I have a decent idea of what is "average" (and this has been corroborated by some of the research I have done in my own time). There are just way too many factors to consider in terms of net income of a practice. 

Just know you will be living a comfortable living and it is not 120-140k (this is the range for associates, and some associates who I have been discussing with over PM have quoted higher figures by quite a bit). I hope this helps. It was intentionally vague - and I do apologize for this.

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