What is the highest paying job in UK Dentistry and how do you engineer your career in that direction?

Dentistry is an enriching career path with an outstanding repute, one that often precedes itself. With that being said, dentists and the dental industry as a whole have also suffered at the hands of public crucifixion. Over the years, they have garnered a less than favourable and very much bemusing reputation – while patients tend to sing praises for their dentists, they do not rejoice at the thought of actually going to see him or her. Well, that’s understandable. The highlight of this, nevertheless, is that dentistry’s bright future does not look to be dimming any time soon.

The drastic expansion of the worldwide dental market could be attributed to a number of compelling factors, the most notable of which involves a steep increase in the elderly population on a global scale. This colossal lot of ageing citizens will, positively, need greater dental care in the next few years. This growing need coupled with an expanding consumer awareness about oral healthcare needs allows the outlook for dentistry to be more prosperous than ever before.

Without a doubt, it is safe to exclaim that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial effect on high-contact industries, primarily an adverse effect on dentistry. Since the outbreak, it is unlikely that dentistry would ever be able to resume its prior status and role. As a result of the untimely pandemic, the dental sector took an enormous financial nosedive. In the same (cynical) spirit, it was also predicted by the Health Policy Institute in the US that in 2021, dental spending would hike up to USD 123.9 billion, which was just 80% before the pandemic level.

In more ways than one, the dental economy incurred heavy losses by first plateauing and spontaneously halting in March and April 2020. Despite these luckless events, the dental industry was able to properly recover and is now thriving, three years into the war zone. In line with its speedy recuperation, dentistry has also been applauded for having a steady employment growth with 90 per cent of dental practices re-opened, post-pandemic panic. There have been predictions made that assess a significant growth for dental-related field jobs between 2018 and 2028, faster than average.

All these anticipated growth rates within the dental sector have made dentistry one of the most stable and fulfilling professions – not to mention, up-and-coming – presently and throughout the next decade. This gives young dentists and other dental auxiliaries an opportunity to make it big in the industry. So, let’s start by assessing which dental job sells the most.

What is the highest-paying dental job?

Dentists and other members of the dental team are likely to seek a profession in dental interventions and sciences not simply due to the rewarding nature of the job but also due to the financial security accompanied by it. It is no secret that dentistry is a high-paying profession.

While young dentistry pursuers may do so in the pretence of finding a successful and satisfying job in the dental industry, it is worth addressing that the career path they take can also be formidable and often unfriendly. We are here to help you understand what pays and how you can steer your profession in that direction.

Figures revealed that dentists are earning up to £300,000 a year in England and Wales. Data released by the NHS information centre showed that out of 19,000 practising dentists in the country, 382 earned over £300,000 including expenses. Meanwhile, 113 dentists earned £275,000 to £300,000 and 159 earned £250,000 to £275,000.

On average, the annual income of a dentist was measured to be over £89,000.

General Dental Practitioner

The average salary for a dentist is anywhere between £72,000 to £89,000 gross per year (£4,190 net per month). From this rough estimate, we can learn that a dentist’s salary is £42,000 (+143%)  higher than the UK’s national average salary.

Among dentists, Graduate and Junior dentists have the lowest salaries. On the other hand, highly experienced dentists and dentists who have specialised in particular fields tend to have the highest salaries.

Become a dentist in the UK

In order to pursue a career as a dentist, you will need an undergraduate degree. This degree may either be a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) or a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BChD). Both of these courses must be approved by the General Dental Council (GDC). Aside from this, students must complete foundation training. The requirements for an undergraduate entry will, however, depend on a particular institution.

The specialities available for dentists in the UK and their respective payroll ranges (according to UK talent.com) are listed below:

SpecialistSalary range (per year)
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon£38,000 to £93,000
Endodontist£22,500 to £90,000
Orthodontist£35,000 to £96,000
Prosthodontist£62,000 to £70,000
Periodontist£30,000 to £91,000
Paediatric Dentist£54,000 to £83,000
Oral Medicine£41,000 to £92,000
Special Care Dentist£48,000 to £74,000
Oral Microbiologist£44,000 to £58,000
Dental Public Health£44,000 to £96,000

Of the many dental specialities that have acclimated to today’s hectic dental market, the sector of dental implants is expected to have the fastest market growth among the product segments. Globally, the dental market is estimated to be worth USD 29,200 million, and by the end of 2026, it is projected to graze standards of up to USD 43,240 million!

Dental Nurse

The average dental nurse earns £25,000 gross per year (9.50 net per hour). This is considered £4,600 (-16%) lower than the UK’s national average salary. Entry-level positions start at £21,450 per year while the most experienced workers make up to £28,275 per year (according to UK talent.com).

Become a dental nurse in the UK

Requirements for this career include completing an accredited dental hygiene associate’s degree or certificate program and then obtaining licensure. You may also be offered Bachelor’s degree programs.

Dental Hygienist

On average, a Dental Hygienist makes £29,000 gross per year (£12 net per hour). This is considered £600 (-2%) lower than the UK’s national average salary. You can expect an average starting salary of £23,000. The highest salaries can even exceed £45,000 for experienced Dental Hygienists.

Become a dental hygienist in the UK

Qualifications for a dental hygienist include a course that lasts for around three years. Some establishments also offer a combined course in dental hygiene and therapy that ultimately leads to a combined diploma.

Dental technician

The average dental technician salary in the United Kingdom is £29,143 per year (£14.95 per hour). Entry-level positions start at £25,000 per year. Meanwhile, the most experienced Dental Technicians can make up to £42,000 per year.

Become a dental technician in the UK

Most dental technicians receive on-the-job training from laboratories that specialise in manufacturing dental appliances. The available qualification for a CDT is the Diploma in Clinical Dental Technology.

The Takeaway

Widely considered an in-demand field, dental values and principles will be indispensable for as long as aspects of dentistry exist. In order to cater to individuals’ needs for healthy mouths, dentistry in the UK and all over the globe has not been restricted to government-owned bureaucracies. Private dentists have been making rife headway, coming in with competitive salaries and attractive benefits for employees and patients alike. You can now choose what you’d like to do in the dental industry to ensure that your career is lit with the right kind of opportunities.

Dental Partners are committed to creating the Best Place to Work which in turn leads to the best patient care.  Dental Partners have become the Best Place to Work by finding the best talent, empowering Dentists and creating great teams. 

At Dental Partners it’s our commitment to be the best place to work that sets us apart. We can only do this by engaging, empowering and creating great teams which results in improvements in the quality of life by offering our patients great care and choice, whether it’s NHS or private dentistry. 

If you like the sound of Dental Partners please contact our dedicated talent team [email protected]