Dentists’ working patterns data published.

Dentists' working patterns data published

We have today published data about the working patterns of some of the dental workforce, following our commitment in 2023 to play our part in supporting the sector to better understand its workforce challenges. You will find the dentists' working patterns data report, including details on how this data should be used, on our website.

As part of their annual renewal, 25,159 (57%) dentists responded to the working patterns survey, of which 24,152 (55%) told us they were working in the UK dental sector. We have been encouraged by the response rate, and support from the sector has been invaluable, to reassure dentists about why the data was being collected and how it would be used. 

For the first time, we now have a richer picture of where dentists work, the balance between private and NHS practice, and the balance between clinical and non-clinical roles and activities, across the four nations of the UK.

Some of the key highlights show that of the responding dentists:

  • The majority are working in clinical roles, with 85% working predominantly (over 75% of their time) or fully in clinical roles, and a further 10% saying they undertake a mix of clinical and non-clinical work.
  • 19% said they provided only private care, with no NHS, and a further 14% said they worked predominantly (over 75% of their time) in private care.
  • Only 15% of are fully NHS, with no private care, and a further 27% said they were predominantly (over 75% of their time) in NHS care.
  • 42% said they were working 30 hours/week or less.
  • 38% regularly work in more than one location.
  • 9% are working as specialists.

The information we have published is from data collected from dentists only. A similar exercise to collect work pattern data for dental care professionals (DCPs) is planned as part of the DCP annual renewal process later in 2024.

Find out more about the publication of dental workforce patterns data