Dentists wouldn’t recommend dentistry

NHS Confidence Monitor
The latest NHS Confidence Monitor has revealed dentists’ desired retirement age is 60

The NHS Confidence Monitor has revealed that 70% of participants would not recommend dentistry as a profession to their family.

The third NHS Confidence Monitor received 590 respondents, making it the most comprehensive in the series so far.

Comissioned by Practice Plan, the monitor looks to discover a deeper understanding of the profession’s thoughts on NHS dentistry.

‘I was unsurprised but nonetheless sad to learn that confidence levels are so low among dental team members across the board,’ Judith Husband, who sits on the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee, said.

‘We need to look at these figures within the general landscape of dentistry, so not only how the NHS contract is affecting the profession, but also regulations, the role of the GDC, and the levels of patient complaints.

‘All of that can make practising NHS dentistry a daunting prospect, to say the least.’

Retirement age

Dentists’ desired retirement age ranges significantly with the average age being 60 years old, the survey revealed.

The survey monitored the profession’s confidence in:

  • The future of NHS dentistry as a whole
  • Future career prospects
  • Remuneration levels
  • Getting the balance of treatment versus prevention within the NHS right
  • The ability of the team to work effectively within the NHS
  • Whether patients will be happy with level of care provided.

In addition, the survey was extended to explore two new issues: whether respondents would feel happy encouraging a family member or friend to pursue a career in dentistry, and their proposed age of retirement to gauge the possibility of a staffing crisis in the future.


The results of the latest survey will be presented to an ‘Insights Panel’ made up of key opinion leaders and experts from the dental profession who will explore and debate their significance and implications for the future of NHS dentistry.

The panel’s findings will then be shared with dental professionals throughout the UK.

For detailed results from this and the last two surveys, as well as to gain access to the discussions from the previous Insights Panel meetings and interviews with panel members, visit

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