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What is the Average Dentist Salary in the UK? Private Vs NHS Dentist Wages

Amanda Dexter
Amanda Dexter
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Curious about the average dentist salary in the UK? Whether you're a practising dentist or considering a career in oral health, this article provides insights into a dentist's starting salary as well as the difference in earnings for private dentists in comparison to the salary of an NHS dentist within the UK.

So, let's break down the numbers to give you a comprehensive understanding of a UK dentist's salary.

What is the average dentist's salary in the UK?

average dentist salary UK private
How much do dentists make?

The overall average dentist's salary in the UK in 2024 is £52,176. This figure is based on data from PayScale's salary survey of dental professionals in the UK.

But, dental salaries are not the same UK wide.

The salary for dentists in the UK can vary based on factors like specialisation, experience, and location.

Dentists specialising in areas like Orthodontics or Oral Pathology tend to earn higher salaries compared to general dentists. For example, an Orthodontist's average annual salary is around £82,90,847, while an Oral Pathologist can earn up to £1,82,68,465.

Dentists can earn even more in cities like London and Birmingham (where average salaries are £80k). The NHS pays its dentists between £35,000 and £70,000. Private dentists can make as much as £130,000 and in some cases even more.

If you're looking at working as an executive dentist or running your own practice, then there's plenty of opportunity for promotion and earning more money.

For example, running your own practice will allow you to charge higher fees and take home more profit from each patient visit than if you were employed by someone else.

NHS dentist salary

Most dentists that work for the NHS are self-employed contractors. The average salary for NHS dentists is £74,788. However, there is a wide range of NHS dentist salaries: the lowest 10% earn less than this and the highest 10% earn more.

Dentists who are paid a salary by the NHS, and work mainly with community dental services, earn between £47,653 and £101,923 in their basic salary.

The average pay increase is between 1-3% per year. To get a higher salary you must either live in an area with higher wages or be willing to move to these areas if you want to work as an NHS dentist.

NHS consultants in dental specialities earn a basic salary of between £93,666 and £126,281 per year.

Dentist starting salary

Newly qualified dentists that want to work for the NHS must undertake 1 year of dental foundation training. During this first year, their dentist starting salary is £36,288, an allowance set through the General Dental Services Statement of Financial Entitlements Directions issued annually by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Once this first year of training is complete dentists can start dental core training, which pays between £43,923 and £55,329. Dentists that choose to enter dental specialty training then are paid a salary of between £55,329 and £63,152.

Dentists that work for private practices are often paid based on the number of years of experience they have. This can vary depending on the location and type of practice you choose to work at.

According to PayScale the starting salary for private dentists is roughly £36,787 – £40,643 depending on their experience.


When we consider the average dentist salary in the UK, it is essential to remember that there are a number of variables. For example, some dentists may work for the NHS and others privately. There are also different types of dental practices, such as private general practice or specialist surgery.

We hope this article has given you an idea of what sort of salary can be expected working as a dentist in the dental industry. While there are many different factors to consider, the overall average salary of a dentist working in the UK is roughly £76,016 per year.


How much do private dentists make UK?

UK private dentist salary is experience-dependent, varying by location and practice type. PayScale notes starting salary is around £36,787 – £40,643. With more experience gained this goes up to an average annual salary of £56,775 or £29.12 per hour. Experienced dentists can earn up to £95,000 yearly.

How much does an NHS dentist earn?

The average salary for NHS dentists, who are typically self-employed contractors, is £74,788. Salaries vary, with the lowest 10% earning less and the highest 10% earning more than this average.

What is a newly qualified dentist salary in the UK?

Newly qualified NHS dentists in the UK receive a starting salary of £36,288 during their 1-year dental foundation training. After completion, they can enter dental core training, with salaries ranging from £43,923 to £55,329.

How much do private orthodontists make UK?

In the UK, orthodontists earn an average annual salary of £82,466 or £42.29 per hour. Entry-level roles begin at £49,459 yearly, with seasoned professionals earning up to £97,130 annually.


PayScale. Average Dentist Salary in United Kingdom. Consulted 6th October 2023.

NHS. Pay for dentists. Consulted 6th October 2023.

DentalTalent. How much do Associate Dentists earn in The UK? Consulted 6th October 2023.