The average taxable income for male dentists in Northern Ireland (NI) is £38k more than female dentists.

Figures from NHS Digital show the average taxable income for male GDS dentists in 2017/18 was £87,600.

That compares with £49,600 for self-employed female dentists over the same period.

‘From the headline figures, it does appear that there is a gender difference in earnings for dentists,’ Susan Nelson, vice chair of the BDA’s NI Dental Practice Committee, said.

‘However, the exact causes of this are not clear, with dentists’ net incomes influenced by a number of factors.

‘The BDA will be seeking to investigate this gender difference as part of its ongoing work on dentists’ pay.’

Hours worked

Pay differences between male and female dentists are linked, in part, to the number of hours worked.

Male dentists who worked over 45 hours per week had the highest average taxable income – £96,200, the press release says.

Female dentists with the highest average taxable income worked 35-45 hours per week earning £54,000.

‘These latest findings show once again that an unsustainable squeeze on dental income,’ Richard Graham, chair of the BDA NI Dental Practice Committee, said.

‘The BDA has called for the urgent implementation of the 2.5% net pay uplift recommended by the independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration for 2019/20.

‘This would be the first step towards addressing rising expenses and a decade of below-inflation pay uplifts.

‘Oral health matters.

‘It is time that the Department of Health addresses the unsustainable financial burden on dentists.

‘We look forward to raising these matters with the Permanent Secretary in the near future.’

Salary rises and drops

Principal dentists in NI have seen their average salaries rise by 17% over the last year to £116,000 in 2016/17.

Associates on the other hand, have seen a decrease of 11.5% in the last year to £52,300.

Earnings varied significantly however, depending on how much private work a dentist does.

‘The lowest combined taxable income (from NHS and private dentistry), of £51,500, was reported for those dentists whose health service earnings accounted for at least 75% of their total gross earnings,’ the Department of Health says.

‘Those whose health service earnings accounted for 25% or less, and between 25% and 75% of their total gross earnings, had taxable incomes of £92,000 and £100,700 respectively.’


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