Three-quarters of dentists record falling incomes

According to a recent survey, 76 per cent of dentists in Ireland have seen their incomes fall in the past two years, with two in five claiming a fall of between 20 and 40 per cent.

The research, carried out by the IDA, found that 13 per cent of dentists said their income had stayed the same while only 10 per cent recorded an increase.

The survey of 276 dentists also asked what were the biggest challenges they currently faced. The answers included: accessing credit, getting paid promptly and debt repayment.

IDA chief executive Fintan Hourihan said: “The huge drop in income is due to the destruction of the two state schemes and a significant drop in visits and treatments by private patients.

“We have pointed out consistently the very serious repercussions these cutbacks will have on the dental health of the nation but, as this survey shows, the HSE embargo on hiring new staff, the cuts to the state schemes and the decline in patients’ income have also hit the dental profession hard.

“About 80 dentists graduate every year in Ireland and we estimate that 70 of last year’s class emigrated.”