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Dental Services: Pay

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the average NHS income of NHS high street dentists in each year since 1997. (131860)

The gross remuneration paid to providers of national health service dental services covers both the practice expenses incurred in providing services and the dentists’ net income. Estimated average annual net incomes for general dental service (GDS) dentists with a reasonable commitment to the NHS, after taking account of the proportion of their gross income committed to meeting practice expenses, are shown in the table.

The data cover dentists working under the terms of the former GDS, which represented the majority of dentists working in primary dental care during the years in question.

Estimated average GDS net income for dentists with a reasonable GDS commitment1, 1997-98 to 2005-06, England and Wales.

1 Dentists with a reasonable commitment to the GDS are defined as dentists with GDS gross earnings equivalent to at least £40,000 in 1993-94 in fees for treatments and patient capitation. This equivalent is calculated each year by adjusting figures to take into account the effect of fee increases. The equivalent figure for 2005-06 is £62,200.

Financial year

Estimated average net income1,2 (£)







Break in series3







Break in series2







1 Average net income is estimated using the ratio of expenses to gross GDS fee income for principals who worked for the full 12 month period.

2 The ratio of expenses to gross income is estimated using HMRC tax data on the overall earnings and expenses of non-associate dentists. Average net income prior to 2003-04 is estimated by multiplying the average gross GDS payment in that year (based on BSA payment data) by the most up to date profit ratio available for that year (based on HMRC data). For 2003-04 and 2004-05, net income has been estimated using GDS payment data for each year multiplied by the profit ratio for dentists with a high commitment to the NHS for the respective year. The net income estimate for 2005-06 is based on the profit ratio of high-commitment dentists in 2004-05 (the latest currently available).

3 Figures since 2000-01 use a different methodology to calculate the contribution from other non-fee/capitation payments.


Department of Health and Information Centre for health and social care analysis of NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) payments and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax data.