Analyses by working patterns are based on results from the Dental Working Patterns Survey, 2016/17 and 2017/18, and provide detailed analysis on average earnings and expenses from NHS/Health Service and private dentistry by weekly working hours and percentage of time spent on NHS/Health Service dentistry. The Dental Working Patterns Survey is a biennial survey of self-employed primary care dentists who conducted some NHS/Health Service activity during the survey period. The survey is commissioned by the Dental Working Group and administered on its behalf by NHS Digital.
As with the results in the rest of the report, the findings relate only to those dentists who:
- performed at least one NHS Unit of Dental Activity and/or one NHS Unit of Orthodontic Activity in England & Wales
- were registered with the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Business Services Organisation (BSO) to provide Health Service dentistry in Northern Ireland
or were identified by NHS National Services Scotland: Information Services Division (ISD) as having an arrangement with an NHS Board to provide General Dental Services (GDS)
The earnings and expenses estimates in this report do not consider, nor contain data on, dentists who performed only private dentistry in 2017/18. The results cover earnings and expenses from both NHS/Health Service and private dentistry, and non-dental income is excluded from the analyses.
Estimates in this section are based only on the sample of dentists who responded to the survey and may be subject to more uncertainty, if based on small numbers, compared to those which do not rely on the use of survey data.
Results based on the survey data were weighted using the same methodology as the rest of this report (rather than those used in Dental Working Hours, 2016/17 and 2017/18), which means that average values for the “All Dentists” category presented in these sections – comprised of the “All responders” and “No survey” categories – are the same as the average values for the “All Dentists” category throughout the rest of the report. Further information about the survey is available in Dental Working Hours, 2016/17 and 2017/18
Earnings and expenses estimates, where presented by the average number of weekly hours worked on NHS/Health Service or private dentistry, include both clinical and administrative work. It is important to note, however, that some survey respondents may have included time spent in employed dental work, such as time spent working in dental schools, rather than solely self-employed activity. As a result, the measure of weekly working hours may not be restricted to self-employed work in a dental practice.
The measure of weekly working hours is expressed in three bands for dentists in Northern Ireland and Scotland: less than 35 hours, 35 hours to 45 hours, and over 45 hours.
This year additional weekly working hours bands have been included within the England and Wales section of the report. These additional bands provide results in smaller increments and allow more meaningful analyses to be presented. Due to a significantly higher number of Associate dentists, there are more bands available for them in comparison to Principal Dentists.
In England and Wales, the weekly working hours are as follows:
- Principal dentists: less than 30 hours, 30 hours to less than 35 hours, 35 hours to less than 40 hours, 40 hours to less than 45 hours, 45 hours and over
- Associate Dentists: less than 20 hours, 20 hours to less than 25 hours, 25 hours to less than 30 hours, 30 hours to less than 35 hours, 35 hours to less than 40 hours, 40 hours to less than 45 hours, 45 hours and over