Dentists’ earnings falling, despite increasing costs

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Dentists are earning less, despite an increase in the amount they pay for materials, expenses and essential costs; figures from the NHS Information Centre revealed that dentists are earning less and paying more than three years ago.

The report, which is entitled ‘Dental Earnings and Expenses’ was published yesterday; it contains information about primary care dentists’ earnings and expenses in England and Wales. The report includes part-time and full-time dentists with varying levels of involvement in NHS work.

The report shows that the average income for a dentist was £77, 900 in 2010/2011 compared with £84,900 in 2009/2010; this represents a decrease of 8.2 per cent. The average expenses total also increased from £242,900 to £247,100 from 2009/2010 to 2010/2011.

The British Dental Association has revealed that this is the second year in a row that earnings have fallen considerably and warned that this could have a “negative impact on patient care”, as dentists are paying more for materials, equipment and general running costs.

Dr John Milne, chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said that the organisation has been warning the Department of Health that dentists are experiencing a pay cut, rather than a pay freeze, which could have a knock-on effect on patient care. The BDA claims that dentists have experienced a pay cut of 13% over the last two years, while expenses have increased by 5 percent.

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