Dentist Jobs in the UK

Dentist Jobs with Zest Dental. If you are seeking a new dentist job in the UK, we have provided information below which may help you.  Zest Dental have helped hundreds of dentists embark on new careers in the UK and you will benefit from our specialised knowledge and expertise that can only come from an experienced and professional dental recruitment consultancy. 

Please note, that all of our current NHS dentist opportunities require candidates to be fully GDC registered and have an active Performer Number / Health Board Number or have undertaken UK vocational training.

Information below regarding English Language Tests, NHS Performer / Health Board Number registration and information on UDA, Dentist Pilot contracts and Dentist prototype contracts.

Practicing Dentistry in the UK

Dentists practicing dentistry in the UK usually either work in a National Health Service (NHS) dental practice, where treatment is subsidised or free for patients, a private dental practice, where patients pay the full cost of treatment, or a mixed dental practice (NHS and Private).  Dentists in the UK predominantly provide a mixture of both NHS and private dental treatment as NHS patients also have access to additional private treatments.

Dentists providing private treatment are usually paid 40-50% of their gross earnings based on the treatment they have provided.

There is not a uniformed NHS dental system across the UK, as England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales all have differing systems. In Scotland you will look after a specific list of patients and from this you will be paid a monthly sum dependent on patient numbers and a percentage of the treatment you provide, normally 40-50% of the gross earnings. Remuneration for any private treatments provided are normally also paid at 40-50% of the gross.

In England and Wales dentists providing NHS dental treatment are paid per UDA (or via the a Pilot or Prototype contract). This will usually result in an equal monthly salary being paid to the dentist. Dentists will also be paid an additional 40-50% of the gross earnings for any private treatment provided. An explanation of the three NHS dentist contract (for England and Wales) is detailed below.

Professional Registration

To practice dentistry in the United Kingdom you must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). It is illegal to provide dental treatment to any individual in the UK without first being registered with the GDC. Generally all dentists that have qualified in an EEA country will be granted permission following registration. However there are some restrictions on certain EEA countries. For further information specific to your country of qualification please visit www.gdc-uk.org. For dentists that have qualified outside of the EEA please visit the GDC website for further advice on the options open to you.

EEA and ORE Dentists

At present NHS Area Teams and LHBs are requesting that the vast majority of dentists without NHS experience or UK vocational training will need to be mentored within their new dental practice.  In our experience, this will be for a period of between three to 12 months dependent on the specific case.  This is to ensure that dentists new to NHS dentistry in the UK are supported by an experienced NHS clinician.   This ensures the confidence of the dentist in their new practice environment and that patient care is optimised. 

Mentor requirements will effect the majority of EEA dentists and candidates that have successfully completed the ORE (Overseas Registration Examination).

English Language Testing Qualifications

In order to treat NHS dental patients in England and Wales, dentists whose first language is not English must hold a valid certificate in English. We suggest that candidates undertake IELTS, as this is accepted more favourably by the NHS. Please note this is an independent opinion based on our experience of registering dentists with the NHS.  As of January 2017 advice from NHS England is...

"A certificate indicating a pass obtained within the last two years of one of the current accepted language tests (or equivalent), at the required level of IELTS 7.0 and no less than 6.5 in each module, or equivalent as defined by the regulator."

UDA (Units of Dental Activity)

nGDS (new General Dental Services) Contract as of 1st April 2006

The nGDS contract commenced from 1st April 2006. With the exception of prototype / Pilot NHS contracts, all NHS dental treatment in England and Wales is assessed using Units of Dental Activity (UDA). Each contract will quote a certain amount of units that are required to be achieved by the dentist in that year. This will usually be based on the previous records of the practice or predictions if a new post.

Units of Dental Activity are detailed below:

Band 1 (non urgent) - 1 UDA.  Covers preventative dental work, such as scaling and polishing and the provision of oral health advice.
Band 1 (urgent) - 1.2 UDA
Band 2 - 3 UDA.  Covers simple treatment, for example fillings and extractions
Band 3 - 12 UDA.  Covers complex treatment, such as bridgework, crowns or dentures.

Issue of Prescription - 0.75 UDA
Repair of Dental Appliance (denture) - 1 UDA
Repair of Dental Appliance (crown) - 1.2 UDA
Removal of Sutures - 1
Arrest of Bleeding - 1.2

Check ups can only be counted once a year per patient.

An example of the contract in action is detailed below (please note this is only an example and does not dictate your potential specific contract)

The Dentist has been offered a gross contract value of £110000 for 6000 UDAs, this equates to approximately 28 UDA per day. This can be achieved by administering check ups (band 1) on 28 patients or less with some band 2 patients included. In terms of remuneration the the Dentist would possibly earn 50% of the gross contract value (£55000) through his NHS commitment plus any earnings for private treatments.

Please view our current UK dental vacancies for current UDA rates.

NHS Pilot Contracts

Dentist working within the Pilot contracts are not subject to the same targets within the UDA system. The clinical pathway begins with a comprehensive oral health assessment which includes, gathering key clinical findings and personal information related to the following four main causes of poor oral health:

Dental caries, Periodontal disease, Tooth surface loss, and Conditions affecting the soft tissues of the mouth, for example oral cancer.

Based on this information, the pathway guides clinicians to provide patients with a preventive care plan indicating their risk using a red amber green (RAG) traffic light system. The care plan provides a platform for communication with patients and assists in the transfer of responsibility for patient self-care. It includes: personally tailored advice to patients on their oral health status and the preventive actions they need to take to improve their own oral health information about preventive actions recommended by the dental team. For example, fluoride varnish applications every three months, referred to as interim care management (ICM) and suggested timing for the next oral health review (recall interval).

In most cases, the dentist will be provided an annual sum divided by 12 to provide a monthly income.  Private treatment can be provided and generates an income in addition to the NHS.

NHS Prototype Contracts

Working with two concepts (Blends), the Prototypes are the next step in the direction of travel for NHS Services as put forward in the ‘Securing Excellence in Dentistry’ and the ‘Five Year Forward View’

The new model will test that the reformed contract will achieve goals of improved access and oral health whilst being affordable. The Practices involved will be key to testing out practical issues (e.g. data transmission) prior to any National roll-out.  The clinical philosophy remains the same- the preventative pathway approach is at the heart of the programme.  Remuneration will be a balance of Capitation, Activity and DQOF.  In most cases, the dentist will be provided an annual sum divided by 12 to provide a monthly income.  Private treatment can be provided and generates an income in addition to the NHS.

Blend A

Capitation element: This will cover check-ups and preventive care (the Band 1 element of courses of treatment i.e. 1 UDA of Band 1, Band 2 and Band 3 courses of treatment) delivered to capitated patients. Urgent courses of treatment and charge exempt courses of treatment delivered to capitated patients will also be covered by the capitation element of the contract.

Activity element: This will cover all treatment (the Band 2 and Band 3 elements of courses of treatment) delivered to capitated patients. The activity element of the contract will also cover urgent care, treatment on referral and charge-exempt courses of treatment delivered to non-capitated patients.

Blend B

Capitation element:  This will cover check-ups, preventive care and routine treatment (the Band 1 and Band 2 elements of courses of treatment i.e. 1 UDA of Band 1 courses of treatment, all 3 UDAs of Band 2 courses of treatment and 3 UDAs of Band 3 courses of treatment) delivered to capitated patients. Urgent courses of treatment and charge exempt courses of treatment delivered to capitated patients will also be covered by the capitation element of the contract.

Activity element:  This will cover only complex treatment (the Band 3 elements of courses of treatment) delivered to capitated patients. The activity element of the contract will also cover urgent care, treatment on referral and charge-exempt courses of treatment delivered to non-capitated patients.

Source: www.gov.uk and NHS England