Anesthesiologist vs Dentistry

Good evening, everyone

I had a question in general.

anesthesiologist vs dentistry?

Many have told me not to pursue dentistry due to the high debt students get into once they are out of dental school.

Especially when insurance companies control the dentist’s pay rate of how much they should get paid for their work on a patient, due to insurance companies being picky and in control.

I still have anesthesiology and dentistry on my mind. I"m still thinking of what bachelor’s degree to pursue at the moment.

I’ve read anesthesiologists make a good amount of money but it’s very competitive and a long educational path.


You will have high debt after medical school as well.

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Thanks for the reply.

Wow there’s no way to out get out of that debt quickly. Med and Dental should not be debt heavily very harsh rules they have.

No rules. It’s just that dental and medical schools are costly, and have precious little aid except loans. Just about every dental and medical school grad has loans, loans and more loans.

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Not all dentists’ pay rate is determined by insurance companies. To my knowledge, that only happens if they join a network. A lot of dentists in our area aren’t in the DPPO or DHMO networks. I don’t know if that’s common in other areas of the country or if it’s a fluke of our state’s insurance regulations. Anesthesiologists are getting more scrutiny by state insurance and federal regulators because so many are out of network and patients get stuck with surprise balance billing and/or have to pay higher out of network cost sharing. Their pay may be “controlled” more in the near future. You can read more by searching for the “No Surprises Act.”

With that said, it appears to me that dentists and anesthesiologists make a very comfortable living. I know we have some local dentist offices that are only open 4 days/week. If they were struggling, I doubt they would be limiting their hours. Maybe you could do some research into the total costs incurred by both paths, starting salaries, how long it typically takes to pay off those loans, are there any alternative paths to having the loans paid off (e.g. if you work for one of those chain dentist offices, do they help with loan repayment? Do big physician groups help pay down med school debt?). Is the debt load manageable given the expected salary you would be earning? Just a few questions to consider.

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There are no rules.
It’s just that dental and medical schools are expensive, and there’s really little financial help available other than loans.

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The countries where the state heavily subsidizes medical/dental school (so debt is minimal or non-existent) are also countries where doctors and dentists have a good income, but do not make 10x the median income.

The good news for a HS student is that you do no have to make this decision for many years yet: you can get into either medical school or dental school with any undergraduate degree. The pre-reqs are very similar for either, and you can do internships in college to learn more about each job to see which suits you better.

And, more good news, there are ways to reduce debt. For example, there are loan forgiveness programs if you work in an underserved area, for participating government agencies / non-profits, etc. Serving in the military is another way to get substantial debt relief. Of course, all of those options pre-suppose that your interest in choosing dentistry or anesthesiology goes beyond making a lot of money working pretty regular hours, but that would be a cynical read of your post, and I choose to believe that your interest stems from knowing people that you admire in those particular specialties.

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May be worth pointing out-to be a licensed dentist requires four years of dental school, passing the boards, etc.
To be a licensed practicing anesthesiologist requires four years of medical school, passing the boards, etc…and then having scores/grades high enough to get accepted in an anesthesiology residency(extremely competitive)-which is four years at a resident’s pay-and then passing the specialty exam(rarely is a non-board certified anesthesiologist hired) before becoming a board-certified anesthesiologist.
So both are tough, but anesthesiology is much more involved in terms of length of training.


Based on the OP’s other threads, this is a 28 year old CC student currently pursuing an AS in dental hygiene using Pell (which will most likely be exhausted at that point as he/she just completed an AA in Gen Studies). At least I believe that to be the case. I point that out as it should be a consideration when advice is given.

Best of luck in whatever path you take, @napnemeanix

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Thanks, @DramaMama2021 - the 28/CC/Pell elements do make a big difference!

OP, rewind everything I wrote…