NI stats show a drop in dentists’ income

Average earnings down nearly six per cent for both principal dentists and associates

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has released details of the earnings and expenses of General Dental Services (GDS) dentists in Northern Ireland for 2012/2013.

This is the sixth time the data has been made available and the third time dental working patterns information has also been produced for Northern Ireland.

The average taxable income for principal dentists was £110,900, down 1.4 per cent from 2011/2012, with associate dentists earning an average of £53,000, down 4.9 per cent on the previous year. For all self-employed dentists (principals and associates), the average taxable earnings were £71,600, down 5.6 per cent.

Average expenses (business expenses allowable for tax purposes) for principal dentists was £205,200 compared to £206,100 in 2011/12 (a decrease of 0.4 per cent); and for associate dentists were £33,700 compared to £35,800 in 2011/12 (a decrease of 5.9 per cent).

Average gross earnings (self-employment income before deduction of expenses) for principal dentists were £316,000 compared to £318,600 in 2011/12 (a decrease of 0.8 per cent); and for associate dentists were £86,700 compared to £91,600 in 2011/12 (a decrease of 5.3 per cent).

In terms of the dental working hours statistics, dentists (both full and part-time) reported working an average of 37.7 hours per week, with 28.2 hours (74.9 per cent) devoted to health service dental services. The remaining 25.1 per cent was spent on private dentistry.

Principal dentists were found to work more weekly hours (42.9) than associates (33.8), with principals spending 71.6 per cent of their time on health service dentistry, compared with associates, for whom health service dentistry accounted for 78.1 per cent of their weekly hours.

Overall, dentists reported that they spent 76.9 per cent of their time on clinical work and 23.1 per cent on non-clinical work.