Average dentist income rises by 11.3% to £72,500

The average taxable income for a dentist in the north rose by 11.3 per cent from £65,110 to £72,500 in 2020/21, according to a new earnings analysis on General Dental Services (GDS) dentists published by NHS Digital.

The average taxable income for Principal dentists was £122,000 n 2020/21 compared with £99,200 in 2019/20 - an increase of 23 per cent.

The figure for Associate dentists was £59,500 in 2020/21 compared with £57,200 in 2019/20 - an increase of 3.9 per cent.

The report presents key findings in terms of average gross earnings, total expenses, and taxable income estimates by dental type and contract type for dentists in the north.

The average taxable income for Principal dentists was £122,000 last year.

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It noted that while earnings are high, expenses are also significant.

"In 2020/21, average gross earnings for all self-employed dentists was estimated to be £138,400 and average expenses - business expenses allowable for tax purposes - estimated as £65,900.

"This equates to an Expenses to Earnings Ratio (EER) of 47.6% (i.e. the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses)," it states.

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There is also a significant range of earnings among professionals within the sector, as the report shows:

"For all self-employed dentists (Principals and Associates), the lowest combined average taxable income (from Health Service and Private Dentistry), of £58,800, was reported for those dentists whose Health Service earnings accounted for at least 75 per cent of their total gross earnings.

"Those whose Health Service earnings accounted for 25 per cent or less and between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of their total gross earnings had taxable incomes of £86,600 and £107,700 respectively."

The analysis reveals a persisting gender pay gap within the profession.

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"As in previous years, regardless of dental type classification, male dentists had higher average gross earnings, total expenses, and taxable income than their female counterparts. For all male self-employed GDS dentists, average taxable income was £93,600, compared with £56,800 for all female self-employed GDS dentists," the report notes.

Older dentists, those aged over 45, had the highest average gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income.

The four largest expense categories for all self-employed GDS dentists in 2020/21 were Other (53.9%), Employee (25.6%), Office and General Business (9.2%) and (Premises 6.8%).