Dental turnover for the UK’s 100 largest dentists reached almost £1 billion last year, representing a 22 per cent rise since 2010, according to finance provider LDF. This means that each of the practices surveyed has seen an average increase of £10 million in their annual revenue over the last four years.
The increase has largely been attributed to growing demand for cosmetic treatments among patients, such as smile analysis, teeth whitening and advanced straightening procedures. This shift in priorities comes despite the enduring stereotype of British people not caring about the appearance of their teeth.
LDF managing director Peter Alderson said: “British people have taken to cosmetic dentistry in a big way, and that’s reflected in rising incomes for top dentists.
“Increasing numbers of dental patients are starting to explore cosmetic treatments like laser whitening, and are willing to pay significant amounts of money for cutting-edge services, especially if they are delivered in a more exclusive, private clinic-style environment.”
At present, there are over 200 dentists in the UK that are able to earn over £300,000 per year from both NHS and private work, compared to the base salary of £38,000 for those who soly provide NHS treatments. However, information about those who work purely in the private sector is not available.
LDF also suggested that mergers and the growth of large chains of practices were helping dentists fully exploit the current demand for non-essential treatments. This is often achieved by creating a premium environment to attract those who are willing to pay high prices for such treatments. Over recent years, the number of companies with over 400 practices in the UK has been growing.
Mr Alderson explained: “If dentists want to make the most of the demand for cosmetic dentistry, they need the type of apparatus and environment that brings in clients, but that type of equipment routinely costs tens of thousands of pounds.”