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.

Most dental practice dentists are self employed.

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 2018/19 salary is £31,982.  This allowance is set through the General Dental Services Statement of Financial Entitlements Directions issued annually by the Department of Health.  

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 £37,191 and £47,132. In addition they are paid for any hours over 40 per week that they work. If they are required to work at night, at the weekend, or on-call, they will receive a 37% enhancement for working nights, a weekend allowance for working at the weekend, and an availability allowance if they are required to be available on-call. They may additionally be paid other pay premia, for example if they enter dental specialty training and qualify for an oral and maxillofacial flexible pay premia.  

Salaried dentists

Salaried dentists employed by the NHS, working mainly with community dental services, earn a basic salary of between £39,638 and £84,780.


Consultants in dental specialties are paid on the same scales as other hospital consultants and from 1st October 2018, earn a basic salary of between £77,913 and £105,042 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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