The NHS Information Centre has published new figures which have revealed that dentists in England and Wales are earning less but paying more in costs and expenses than three years ago.
According to the Dental Earnings and Expenses report, which provides information on the earnings and expenses of primary care dentists who carried out some NHS work in 2010/11, the average taxable pay for dentists fell by 8.2% from £84,900 in 2009/10 to £77,900.
The findings relate to full-time and part-time dentists with varying levels of self-employment earning from NHS and private dental work.
Meanwhile the report revealed a spike in expenses, increasing from £242,900 in 2009/10 to £247,100 in 2010/11.
The BDA is warning that the rise in expenses, coupled with the reduction in pay, could lead to a negative impact on patient care.
According to the organisation, while expenses have increased by 5% over the past two years, dentists have actually seen a pay cut of 13%.
Dr John Milne, chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said: “We have been telling the Department of Health for some time that the dental profession is suffering a pay cut rather than a pay freeze, which could jeopardise the resources high street dentists need to provide the best quality care to patients.
“Dentists in England and Wales are working hard to deliver the quality of care expected by patients and the profession, but are contending with greater bureaucracy and escalating costs against a backdrop of efficiency savings in the NHS.”