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Dental salaries in north exceed £330,000

New figures published on pay for 2013/14 show that dentists working in the Belfast area had the highest gross earnings 
Seanín Graham

DENTISTS in Northern Ireland carrying out both private and NHS work are receiving of £335,600 to run their practices - almost £20,000 more than the previous year.

New figures published on pay for 2013/14 show that dentists working in the Belfast area had the highest gross earnings, with men earning considerably more than their female counterparts across the north’s five main health areas.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre examined earnings, taxable incomes and expenses of what are known as General dental practitioners (GDP) - self-employed dentists who undertake work for the Health and Social Care Board.

Earnings and expenses estimates were based on tax data covering NHS and private dentistry. Expenses include office costs, premises overheads, staff pay, travel and advertising.

The report also looked at the wages of 'principal' GDP dentists, who are those who own a practice or who are a partner in it, as well as lower-paid 'associate' dentists (those who have a contract or who work under a principal).

The report discovered:

- Average earnings of principal dentists before tax from NHS and private dentistry were £335,600 compared to £316,000 in 2012/13

- Those aged 45 and over had the highest earnings and total expenses, while those under 35 years had the lowest.

- For male self-employed GDS dentists, average taxable income was £88,400 compared to £54,700 for female dentists.

- Average taxable income for dentists who ran their own practices was £111,600 and £54,400 for associates

- Average total expenses from health service and private dentistry were £223,100 compared to £205,200 in 2012/13

- Dentists in Belfast had the highest average gross earnings and total expenses, and dentists in the Western area had the highest taxable income. Dentists in South Eastern area had the lowest for gross earnings, total expenses and taxable income.

This is the seventh year the centre has produced information on the earnings of the north's dental profession but only the second time it has featured information on dentists in England, Scotland and Wales.

Ther report's authors warn however that direct comparisons across the four NHS regions "should not be made" due to differing contractual agreements.

They reveal earnings and expenses by age, gender, orthodontic activity, detailed expenses, region and working patterns.

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