The dental recruitment crisis: what you need to know

recruitment crisisIn this article, Phillip Barker will discuss the current recruitment crisis and its implications for the dental industry.

The dental recruitment crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing the dental industry today.

There is a severe shortage of dentists, and those who are working are often overworked and underpaid.

This has led to a situation where many practices are struggling to meet their UDA targets, and associates are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of pay and working conditions.

In this article, we will discuss the current crisis and its implications for the dental industry. We will also provide some insights from our own research into the matter, which we hope will be of use to dental practice owners who are struggling to recruit and retain staff.

Why the crisis?

The current crisis in dental recruitment is primarily due to two factors: firstly, a shortage of dentists in the UK – exacerbated by an increased number of dentists choosing early retirement or part-time work since the pandemic.

And secondly, an exodus of dentists from the NHS, with many dentists opting to work in the private sector, where they can earn more money and have greater control over their working hours.

The implications of the dental recruitment crisis are far-reaching.

Dental practices need to be proactive in recruiting qualified candidates and may need to consider changing their pay structures in order to do so.

Key candidate statistics

Our recruitment insights report provides a clear picture of candidate expectations across the UK and Ireland based on data from January to June 2022.

Key statistics from the report show that:

  • Flexibility is a priority for a huge number of dentists, with 73% of associates and 46%of EU dentists seeking to work part-time
  • Distance to work is another key concern for associates in particular, with 50% only willing to travel 15 miles for their next role
  • Salary expectations are equally demanding, with 77% of associates opting for private-only or over £12.00 per a UDA
  • And 47% of EU dentists are seeking out private-only work with many currently lacking a performer number.


Its clear from the data that in order to attract and retain the best staff, dental practices need to address both compensation and working arrangements when making decisions around recruitment.

The dental recruitment crisis is an ongoing issue. But with the right approach, dental practices can still find and retain quality staff.

Our report provides valuable insights into what candidates are looking for in their next role. We hope it is of use to practices that are struggling to recruit in this current climate.

For the full report on our most recent findings, you can download the PDF here.

If you need assistance to navigate the process of making changes to your pay rates, or want advice on how increasing payroll costs will affect the value of your practice, speak with one of our consultants today.

You can reach out via the form on our website, or give us a call on 01332 609318.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article was informative and helpful. Please feel free to share it with your network, and dont forget to subscribe to our blog for more dental recruitment tips and news.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar