A new NHS report has revealed that top-earning dentists are on more than £110,000 a year.
The ‘Dental Earnings and Expenses Estimates 2017/18', released on Thursday, show that the average taxable income of UK dentists under a 'Personal Dental Services’ contract was £201,000 compared to £184,100 in 2016/17 - nearly a 10 per cent increase.
Providing-Performer dentists had higher gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income than Associate dentists across all contract types, in keeping with previous years.
Providing-Performer dentists are those with contracts under NHS England and also performing dentistry.
Taxable income is calculated by subtracting the "expenses" of dentists which are: staff costs, laboratory costs, material costs, other non-staffing costs and premises costs.
For Providing-Performer dentists, dentists spending less than 25 per cent of their time on NHS dentistry earned the highest taxable income of £119,900 compared to £113,400 and £116,000 for those spending between 25-50 per cent and more than 75 per cent of their time on NHS dentistry, respectively.
What about the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap in the dentistry industry proved to be very much still prevalent, as male dentists' income was significantly more than their female counterparts across the board.
The report found that regardless of dental type classification, male dentists had higher gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income on average than their female counterparts.
For all male self-employed primary care dentists, average taxable income was £81,900 compared to £54,700 for all female self-employed primary care dentists, which could be partly explained by the higher proportion of male dentists being Providing-Performers (top-earning dentists).
The report also saw top-earning Providing-Performer dentists earn more than female Providing-Performer dentists by £17,100.However, as the report includes dentists of part-time and full-time contracts, this may explain at least part of the pay disparity.
It adds: "This report includes both full-time and part-time dental earnings and expenses, and given that on average male dentists tend to work longer weekly hours compared to their female counterparts (Dental Working Hours, 2016/17 and 2017/18), this could be a contributory factor to the differences observed in earnings and expenses by gender."
But women are out-earning men in other ways
Providing-Performer male dentists who work fewer than 30 hours per week have a considerably lower taxable income than those working 45 hours or more (£88,700 and £138,100 respectively).
However, Providing-Performer female dentists working less than 30 hours a week are out-earning dentists who are working any more than that, even those working up to 45 hours.
The report says: "For female Providing-Performer dentists, those working fewer than 30 hours per week earn a considerably higher average taxable income (£102,400) than those working 30-34 hours, 35-39 hours and 40-44 hours (£98,900, £74,400 and £92,700 respectively). Female Providing-Performer dentists working 45 hours and over had the highest taxable income of £103,900."
The full report can be read here.