Pay for dentists

Most NHS dentists working in dental practices are self-employed contractors.

The profit of dental practices varies according to the services they provide for their patients and the way they choose to provide these services.

Dentists in training

Newly qualified dentists who want to work in the NHS must undertake dental foundation training for one year, for which the annual 2015/16 salary is £30,732.  This allowance is set through the General Dental Services Statement of Financial Entitlements Directions issued annually by the Department of Health.  The Statement of Fees and Entitlements for 2016/17, including the DFT allowance has not yet been announced and any change to the value of the DFT payment will be notified in a further pay circular. 

After completing their dental foundation training, dentists can either choose to work in a dental practice, or enter dental core training. Dental core trainees earn a basic salary between £37,000 and £48,000, in addition to pay for any hours over 40 per week, enhancements for working unsocial hours, an availability allowance if they are required to be available on-call, and other potential pay premia.  

Salaried dentists

Salaried dentists employed by the NHS, working mainly with community dental services, earn a basic salary of between £38,476 and £82,295.


Consultants in dental specialties are paid on the same scales as other hospital consultants and earn a basic salary of between £76,001 and £102,465 per year dependent on years of seniority in the consultant grade. Local and national Clinical Excellence Awards may be awarded subject to meeting the necessary criteria.

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