Here is the story from my perspective. There is potential here to earn a very good living as a dentist. Is it easy ? no, but i dont think it is easy in the US either. having tremendous debt burden though is not the way to make aliya. it took me 10 years to pay off my $35k loans 25 yrs ago. Then again I never worked a day in the US and took the jump.
There is always opportunity in any market and anyplace. having said that you must have skills , dynamism and excitment that others don’t. good communication skills, business skills and technical skills seem like an obvious thing but most dentists dont have all 3. you can be the greatest technical dentist in the world but if you dont know how to interact in a way that attracts people, you will fail.
you need a diploma from a dental school to work and must take an Israeli dental exam. If you pass the US boards, you will pass the Israeli dental exam. I think the reason that many dentists are traveling back and forth to the US, has to do with what time in their career they made aliya. If you are coming from a developed US practice, and you have a family of older kids, and you have become accustomed to a certain quality of life, it is very hard to go cold turkey and start from scratch . However, once you are on that wagon train, it is virtually impossible to get off. However sexy it might seem to some, to earn a good US salary and live in Israel,traveling like that is a great strain on your body marriage and family.
Work hours vary. when i started I worked like a maniac, 6 days a week full time. I quickly was getting burnt out and went to an unusual 4 day intensive workday. When I went from 6 to 4 days, income went up 25%. Today I do a 4 day 12-14 days a month workday. Dentistry is a hard but very fulfilling profession. It is sometimes physically difficult as well as you are sometimes twisted into uncomfortable positions. But that has nothing to do with Israel.
Dentistry in Israel , for me , has been wonderful. I have gotten to know thousands of people, who like me, and have the opportunity to help me as well, over the years. I have helped employees earn a good living and sent their kids to school through my salary. I have had the opportunity to do a tremendous amount of charity by doing free dentistry for some people who needed it. And, I have earned a good living while doing it. If I can be of any help , let me know.