NHS dentists’ salaries continue to drop in England, Northern Ireland and Wales

NHS dentists in England and Wales have seen their salary drop by 0.7% to £68,700, according to the latest NHS Digital results.

Scotland was the only home country where self-employed dentists’ salary increased, by 0.1% to £67,800.

Dentists in Northern Ireland experienced the biggest drop, by 4.3%, with average salaries for self-employed dentists now at £66,400.

When pushed on a comment, an NHS spokesperson said: ‘The number of dentists providing NHS services continues to increase.

‘Most importantly for our patients, when people need to get an NHS dentist appointment they are almost always able to get one.

‘Nine times out of 10, their experience is positive.’

Downward trend

These results continue the downward trend in NHS dentists’ real terms salary, which the BDA claims has dropped by 35%.

Despite the drop in salaries, dental charges have increased by around 5%.

Recent estimates show patients will be contributing around a third of the NHS dental budget through charges by 2020.

‘Underfunding and failure to deliver meaningful reform has left the sustainability of this service in doubt,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, BDA chair, said.

‘Matt Hancock pledged to put prevention at the heart of his approach to the health service.

‘In the service’s 70th year, he must recognise that we can’t have NHS dentistry without NHS dentists.’

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