Dental Foundation Year 1 (DF1) graduates working as vocational dental practitioners (VDPs) start on around £30,000 a year.
Most dentists are self-employed contractors, mixing NHS with private work, and earn between £50,000 and £110,000 annually, while wholly private dentists can earn £140,000+.
Some dentists choose to work in salaried posts in the Community Dental Service (CDS), known in England as the Salaried Primary Dental Care Service (SPDCS). Salaries in the CDS/SPDCS range from £38,095 to £81,480. Other salaried posts exist in the armed forces and in corporate practices.
In NHS trust hospitals, dentists are paid according to nationally defined scales; for more details see NHS Careers. Salaries at consultant level range from £75,249 to £101,451 a year.
Locums can expect to be paid £300 to £500+ a day.
Most general dental practitioners (GDPs) are self-employed and can arrange their own working hours, which may include weekend or evening sessions to suit patients. Career breaks and part-time work opportunities are available.
Hospital dentists tend to be employed on short-term contracts (6-12 months) and work more irregular hours, with on-call responsibilities. Self-employment and freelance work in hospital dentistry are only possible for consultants.
Jobs are available throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas.
The British Dental Association (BDA) predicts that more than half of practising dentists will be female by 2020.
When treating patients, dentists wear a tunic, surgical gloves and safety glasses for protection and to reduce the risk of cross-infection.
Dentists may experience eye strain and neck and back fatigue.
All dentists must abide by a professional code of ethics. They may experience high stress levels when handling patients' pain and anxiety and/or as a result of working within strict time schedules.
If you work in a hospital, long days and nights on duty may limit your social life, and short contracts of employment may mean repeated job search and relocation.
Travel within a working day and overnight absence from home are uncommon in general practice, but may occasionally be necessary for hospital dentists.
Opportunities for overseas travel may arise to attend international conferences.
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