According to figures published by the NHS Information Centre, the average taxable income for self-employed primary care dentists dropped by 5.2 percent year-on-year in 2009-10 to £84,900.
The average taxable income for practising dentists who held a contract with a Primary Care Trust (PCT) or Local Health Board (LHB) was £128,000, compared to £65,600 for those without such a contract. While 1.5 percent of dentists earned £300,000 or more, 55.8 percent received an income of less than £75,000.
This drop in taxable income proves that the government-imposed pay freeze has actually led to a pay cut for dentists, triggered, in part, by a 3.1 percent rise in expenses over the same timeframe. This is due to increased costs for materials and equipment due to the weak pound, as well as mounting prices for required precious metals, staff costs and the regulatory burden.
Average expenses for practising dentists who held a contract with a PCT or LHB totalled £242,900, compared to £36,100 for those without such a contract.
These figures highlight the importance of seeking dedicated financial advice to see if there are ways to improve the efficiency and performance of the practice. The specialists at JW Hinks can advise on further opportunities to operate in a more cost-effective way.