Report reveals deep decay to dentists pay, says BDA

Dentists in England and Wales are earning significantly less and paying more in essential costs and expenses than three years ago, according to new figures published by the NHS Information Centre today.

The British Dental Association (BDA) says the report, Dental Earnings and Expenses, England and Wales, 2010/11, shows a fall in dentists average taxable income for the second year running, while the costs of providing premises, equipment, staff and materials essential to patient care have spiralled upwards.

The average taxable income for all self-employed primary care dentists in England and Wales in 2010/11 was £77,900, compared to £84,900 in 2009/10 and £89,600 in 2008/09.

This represents a pay cut of 13 per cent over two years and is coupled with increases in practice expenses of five per cent for the same period, and comes on top of expense increases of nearly eight per cent between 2007/8 and 2008/09.

Dr John Milne, Chair of the BDA General Dental Practice Committee, said:

We have been telling the Department of Health for some time that the dental profession is suffering a pay cut rather than a pay freeze, which could jeopardise the resources high street dentists need to provide the best quality care to patients. Dentists in England and Wales are working hard to deliver the quality of care expected by patients and the profession, but are contending with greater bureaucracy and escalating costs against a backdrop of efficiency savings in the NHS.

The report is available on the Department of Health website.