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Dentists’ pay: What we do for you

Each year we use our evidence to fight for a fairer pay for associates, practice owners, community dentists (PDS in Scotland), and we call for pay parity for dental clinical academics.

We work across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and provide evidence to the Governments on your behalf.

We want an end to the public sector pay cap for doctors and dentists – we believe the continued decline in income for dentists is affecting not just the profession, but the access to care dentists can provide for patients

​This year for 2018/19 we called for a rise for all dental practitioners of an inflation linked award plus two per cent.

We need NHS dentistry to grow and for that, dentists and their practices, or clinics, need more sustainable investment.

We believe there is a fast approaching crisis in the recruitment and retention of NHS primary care dentists in the UK.


Our evidence shows, that the higher the level of National Health Service commitment by dentists, the lower the levels of morale and motivation are for professionals.


This year our evidence focused on:


  • General Dental Practice
  • Community Dental Services (including PDS in Scotland)
  • Clinical Academic Staff
  • Dental careers
  • Millennials and the changing workforce
  • Impact of Brexit

We submitted detailed evidence to the pay review body (the Review Body on Doctor’s and Dentists’ Remuneration) on 18 December 2017.


What happens next?

Usually we expect the pay review body to report on its recommendations to Government in April 2018.

In previous years, this recommendation is taken by each of the four governments and any pay uplifts are then set.

Because of the delay in the process by the Government in 2017 until after the Autumn Budget Statement, this year we are unsure if an announcement will be made in April, however usually any later uplifts are backdated to 1 April of that year.


How is dentists’ pay decided?

The independent body responsible for making recommendations on pay is called the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (known as DDRB).

Each year, they are asked by the Government(s) to make a recommendation for setting levels of pay, based on evidence of recruitment/retention, morale and motivation in the profession.

In the summer each year, the Secretary to the Treasury writes to the DDRB outlining the Government’s approach to pay.

To formally open the next round of evidence submissions, the Secretary of State for Health issues a letter to the DDRB, formally opening the process and outlining their remit for England, and the other UK Governments’ do the same.

These remit letters advise the DDRB of the areas it wishes the them to make a recommendation on, and any special areas of consideration (i.e. how much budget is available).

The DDRB then ask all the groups and organisations affected by the process to submit evidence usually in September.

All parties submit their evidence and publish on their own websites.

The DDRB then takes oral evidence sessions from the groups and organisations, two months after written submissions are received.


What does the BDA do?

Each year, we gather a huge amount of evidence from all areas of the profession, including surveying associates and practice owners, community dentists and other groups, as well as using evidence from Freedom of Information Act requests and official sources of data, to help make the case for dentistry.


Read our blogs to find out what we are doing in each of the four UK countries to fight for fairer pay for dentists.

Working for you

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We campaign on a range of issues affecting dentists and dentistry today. We make sure that dentists' views are represented when it comes to health policy being developed by government and other key organisations: join us.