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Choking the life out of dentistry: declining pay

Blog Author Henrik Overgaard Nielsen

Blog Date 20/09/2017

​​​A decade of chronic underinvestment and pay restraint now risk choking the life out of NHS dentistry. 

The latest Government figures show that taxable income for high street NHS dentists in England, continues to decline with a fall of nearly 35% in real terms since 2006 – we are being pushed to the brink.




This feels like a perfect storm of increasing costs and declining incomes, and it’s not just us moaning, we know that it’s our patients that stand to lose out as waiting times to see an NHS dentist appear to be increasing, practice owners aren’t able to invest in their businesses, and associates are unable to see any pay progression, fuelling a potential exodus of our young talent. 

Costs facing individual practitioners for regulatory compliance and registration have gone up by 1086% in the same period

GPs in England benefit from a £30 million fund to support skyrocketing indemnity costs, capital investment through a five-year £900m fund, and additional £56m pot for practice resilience, which includes dedicated support for those suffering from stress and burnout. 


We’ve been offered nothing like that – in spite of asking.

Recent research for the BBC has revealed that just 52% of NHS dental practices in England are accepting new adult patients, and just 60% accepting new child NHS patients and we’ve highlighted that this is a growing problem, that needs fixing now – we can’t keep being put to the bottom of the pile. 

Henrik Overgaard NielsenHenrik Overgaard Nielsen

Chair, General Dental Practice Committee



Dental contract reform

We are campaigning for a dental contract that puts prevention first - find out what the issues are and what we have been calling for.