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Publication

Dental Earnings and Expenses Estimates 2017/18

This is part of

Official statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
United Kingdom
Geographical granularity:
Country, Regions
Date range:
01 Apr 2017 to 31 Mar 2018

Northern Ireland

Main Findings

For Principal dentists in 2017/18 average taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry was £116,000 compared to £99,100 in 2016/17, a 17.0 per cent increase. Compared to 2015/16 figures, the 2017/18 average taxable income has decreased by 1.4 per cent.

For Associate dentists in 2017/18 average taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry was £52,300 compared to £59,100 in 2016/17, a 11.5 per cent decrease. Compared to 2015/16 figures, the 2017/18 average taxable income has decreased by 3.5 per cent.

There was no change in average taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry for all self-employed GDS dentists in 2017/18, when compared to 2016/17.

A detailed explanation on how dental type in Northern Ireland is identified can be found in the Methodology. Please note that in 2017/18 the methodology was revised to allow dental type to be identified more accurately. Historically the expenses to earnings ratio (EER) information was obtained in 10 per cent increments and the lowest point was used to determine the dental split. This year this has been revised to obtain the EER data in 5 per cent increments.

In 2016/17 an EER of > 50 per cent was used to identify Principal dentists whereas in previous years, this figure was 40 per cent. This change was a contributory factor in the decreasing earnings and expenses of Principal dentists and the rise in earnings and expenses of Associate dentists in 2016/17.

The change in methodology meant that for 2017/18 the EER used to identify Principal dentists has been revised once again and an EER of >45 per cent has been used.

Although there are large changes in the gross earnings and total expenses between 2015/16 and 2017/18, this now reflects a more accurate representation of earnings and expenses in Northern Ireland.

In 2015/16 taxable income for Principal and Associate dentists was £117,600 and £54,200 respectively. Compared to the £116,000 and £52,300 figures in 2017/18, this represents decreases of 1.4 and 3.5 per cent since 2015/16 which have not been tested for statistical significance. These figures are presented in table and figure 10.1 which further confirm that the figures in 2017/18 are in line with expectations following the methodological revision.

Table 10.1: All self-employed GDS dentists – average gross earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type, Northern Ireland, 2015/16 to 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists – average gross earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type, Northern Ireland, 2015/16 to 2017/18

Note: 1. Small sample (<125) 2. Further explanatory notes can be found in the Introduction

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Report population changes

The shift in the EER split used to determine dental type in Northern Ireland, in 2016/17, contributed to both the large changes in earnings of dentists as well as a 22 per cent drop in the number of Principal dentists. Revising the methodology has allowed the dental population to be restored, and when compared to 2015/16 there is only a 2.5 per cent decrease in Principal numbers in 2017/18.

It is important to note that figure represents the changing report population that is used in the annual earnings and expenses estimates reports and does not represent the actual dental population. See Introduction for further explanatory notes.

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Note: Numbers shown are Earnings and Expenses Estimates Report populations and will not match those found elsewhere

Percentage of Gross Earnings from Health Service Dentistry

Earnings and Expenses Estimates by Percentage of Gross Earnings from Health Service Dentistry

This section of the report looks at the earnings and expenses estimates of self-employed dentists by the percentage of total gross earnings from Health Service dentistry (Health Service gross earnings as a percentage of total gross earnings) for 2017/18. The measure is not comparable with the ‘percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry’ presented in a later section, as the latter is based on a measure of time as reported by respondents to the Dental Working Patterns Survey, whereas figures in this section are based upon a measure of earnings.

The measure of percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry is subject to some caveats: due to the arrangements in place for payment between Principal and Associate dentists, it is likely to contain a certain amount of overstating of an Associate’s actual level of income from Health Service dentistry, while the opposite is likely to be true for some Principals.

Furthermore, the measure is affected by the fact that some Principal dentists will receive additional income from the Heath Service for providing education for dentists in training (Assistants, Vocational Dental Practitioners (VDPs), and those in General Professional Training (GPTs)). In most circumstances, and where the Self Assessment tax return has been completed correctly, this income will not be declared as gross earnings, but used to ‘offset’ the expenses incurred for providing such services. This income is, however, included as earnings in the data received from Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation (BSO) for Health Service earnings. This means that for many dentists who provide such education services, the percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry will be overstated.

It is not possible to quantify the extent to which the issues described above affect the results of the analyses, but any effect is likely to be minimised by aggregating results to the all dentist level, and by employing wide bandings of percentage of income from Health Service dentistry, as shown in this section.

Table and figure 11.1 show the average earnings and expenses for all self-employed dentists by dental type and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry.

For all self-employed GDS dentists in 2017/18:

  • The lowest combined taxable income (from Health Service and private dentistry), of £51,500, was reported for those dentists whose Health Service earnings accounted for at least 75 per cent of their total gross earnings
  • Those whose Health Service earnings accounted for 25 per cent or less, and between 25 and 75 per cent of their total gross earnings had taxable incomes of £92,000 and £100,700 respectively

Although sample sizes allow results to be presented for Principals, Associates, and all self-employed dentists, the small sample sizes of each subgroup mean that the values are subject to more uncertainty, as extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages.

Table 11.1: All self-employed dentists – average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed dentists – average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Total earnings from Health Service dentistry (based on BSO activity data from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) as a percentage of total earnings from dentistry during the same period (based on HMRC Self Assessment tax return for 2017/18) 2. Small sample (<125) 3. Further explanatory notes can be found in the Introduction

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Percentage of Time Spent on Health Service Dentistry

Earnings and Expenses Estimates by Percentage of Time Spent on Health Service Dentistry

Table and figure show gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry for self-employed dentists broken down by percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry as identified from responses to the Dental Working Patterns Survey.

Due to the small population of dentists in each subgroup, the analyses in this section use different weighting to the rest of the report and means that the average values presented for all dentists will differ from those presented elsewhere.

Small sample sizes for each subgroup mean that the values are subject to additional levels of uncertainty beyond those already associated with estimates based upon sample data, as extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages.

Table 12.1: All self-employed GDS dentists – average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists – average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Results are based on responses from The Dental Working Patterns Survey. This Survey was only sent to dentists who carried out some Health Service work in 2016/17 or 2017/18; therefore, percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry cannot equal zero 2.Small sample (<125) 3. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of the report

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Gender

Earnings and Expenses Estimates by Gender

This section of the report looks in more detail at the 2017/18 earnings and expenses estimates of self-employed GDS dentists by gender.

Although sample sizes allow results to be presented for Principals, Associates, and all self-employed GDS dentists, it is important to note that the small sample sizes of each subgroup mean that the values are subject to more uncertainty, as extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages.

Table and figure 13.1 show the average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry for all self-employed GDS dentists, by dental type and gender. The results show that in 2017/18:

  • as in previous years, regardless of dental type classification, male dentists had higher average gross earnings, total expenses, and taxable income than their female counterparts
  • for all male self-employed GDS dentists, average taxable income was £87,600, compared to £49,600 for all female self-employed GDS dentists

It is important to note that this report includes both full-time and part-time dental earnings and expenses, which – given that on average more female dentists work part-time and that male dentists also tend to work longer weekly hours than female dentists (Dental Working Hours, 2016/17 and 2017/18) – could be a contributory factor to the differences observed in earnings and expenses by gender.

Table 13.1: All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and gender, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and gender, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes:  1. Small sample (<125)  2. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report

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Working Patterns

Earnings and Expenses Estimates by Working Patterns

Table and figure show the average earnings, expenses and taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry for self-employed GDS dentists by weekly working hours.

For all self-employed dentists, as the weekly working hours increase, so do gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income.

Table 14.1: All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and weekly hours devoted to dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and weekly hours devoted to dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes:  1. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report 2. Small sample (<125)  3. The bands of weekly working hours changed in 2012/13 (from ≥35<45 and ≥45 to ≥35≤45 and >45) so caution should be used when making any comparisons to data before 2012/13 4. c: due to a small sample size results have been suppressed to ensure anonymity of results

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Earnings and expenses estimate by gender and weekly hours devoted to dentistry

Table 14.2 shows earnings and expenses for self-employed GDS dentists by both the average number of hours they devoted to dentistry per week (including clinical and administrative work for both Health Service and private dentistry) and by gender. It is important to note that small sample sizes for some subgroups mean that the values are subject to more uncertainty, as extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages. Results for some subgroups have been suppressed due to very small sample sizes.

Table 14.2: Self-employed Principal dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Self-employed Principal dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Small sample (<125)  2. c: due to a small sample size results have been suppressed to ensure anonymity of results

Table 14.3: Self-employed Associate dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Self-employed Associate dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Small sample (<125) 2. c: due to a small sample size results have been suppressed to ensure anonymity of results

The results in table 14.4 show that for all self-employed GDS dentists in 2017/18:

  • male dentists who worked over 45 hours per week had the highest average taxable income at £96,200, compared to £83,800 for all male survey respondents
  • by comparison, the group of female dentists with the highest average taxable income worked 35-45 hours per week. These dentists earned an average taxable income of £54,000, compared to £48,300 for all female survey respondents.

Table 14.4: All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18 

All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry, by gender and weekly working hours, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Small sample (<125) 2. c: due to a small sample size results have been suppressed to ensure anonymity of results 3. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report 4.The bands of weekly working hours changed in 2012/13 (from ≥35<45 and ≥45 to ≥35≤45 and >45) so caution should be used when making any comparisons to data before 2012/13

Age

For the purposes of this report, dentists’ ages were calculated as at 30 September 2017 – the mid-point of 2017/18.

Table and figure 15.1 show average gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and age band. It is important to note that given the relatively low dental sample sizes in each age band, extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages; the results may be subject to more uncertainty and differences may not be statistically significant.

Table and figure 15.1 show that:

  • for Principal dentists, those under 35 years of age earned the lowest taxable income from Health Service and private dentistry in 2017/18 (£85,700, compared to £107,800 and £123,800 for those aged 35 to 44 and 45 and over respectively)
  • consistent with trends shown in previous years, dentists under 35 had the lowest gross earnings, expenses and taxable incomes.

Table 15.1: All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and age, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists - average earnings and expenses from Health Service and private dentistry by dental type and age, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Small sample (<125)  2. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report

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Detailed expenses breakdown

Detailed expenses breakdown by dental type, age, gender and activity demographics

Tables 16.1-16.3 show the average breakdown of allowable expenses for all self-employed GDS dentists by age, gender, and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry for Principal, Associate, and all self-employed GDS dentists respectively.

It is important to note that small sample sizes for some subgroups mean that the values are subject to more uncertainty, as extreme values can have noticeable effects on the averages.

As discussed in the Known issues section of the Introduction, earnings and expenses can be counted more than once across tax returns, and this should be borne in mind when considering these results.

For Principal dentists in 2017/18:

  • as in 2016/17, as a percentage of Total expenses, Other expenses represented the largest cost (50.5 per cent), followed by Employee costs (33.1 per cent)
  • Premises (6.5 per cent) and Office and General Business (6.4 per cent) made up the majority of the remaining expenses

Table 16.1: Self-employed Principal dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18 

Self-employed Principal dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report 2. Small sample (<125)

For Associate dentists in 2017/18:

  • Other expenses accounted for a majority (70.5 per cent) of Total expenses, followed by Office and General Business (17.2 per cent) and Premises (5.9 per cent); a trend similar to that shown in 2016/17
  • Associate dentists are less likely than Principal dentists to employ staff, and this is reflected in the percentage of Total expenses that were Employee costs, at 3.0 and 33.1 per cent respectively

Table 16.2: Self-employed Associate dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender and percentage

Self-employed Associate dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender and percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Further explanatory notes can be found in the UK Chapter of this report 2. Small sample (<125)

For all self-employed GDS dentists in 2017/18 consistent with the results from 2016/17, the four largest expense categories were Other (57.3 per cent), Employee (22.9 per cent), Office and General Business (10.0 per cent) and Premises (6.3 per cent)

Table 16.3: All self-employed GDS dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender, activity type, percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, weekly working hours, percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry and survey response, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

All self-employed GDS dentists - detailed expenses breakdown, by age, gender, activity type, percentage of gross earnings from Health Service dentistry, weekly working hours, percentage of time spent on Health Service dentistry and survey response, Northern Ireland, 2017/18

Notes: 1. Further explanatory notes can be found in the  UK Chapter of this report 2. Small sample (<125)  3. The bands of weekly working hours changed in 2012/13 (from ≥35<45 and ≥45 to ≥35≤45 and >45) so caution should be used when making any comparisons to data before 2012/13

Last edited: 20 September 2019 9:50 am