Why does everyone say dentists earn more than doctors?

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ilyas.100
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I’ve read through numerous threads stating that dentists earn more than doctors however I’m a tad bit confused as to why people say this as if you look at the actual statistics on google, it says medical consultants earn around 80k a year while dentists earn around 50k a year. Even in foundation training doctors and dentists both earn the same, about 25k.

I’m aware that obviously you shouldn’t just go into a job for the money but I’m just confused as to why people say this when the actual statistics say otherwise.
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a.ayre14
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I'm no expert on this but I think that doctors often work much longer hours than dentists. This could mean that dentists earn more per hour but not more per year.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
I’ve read through numerous threads stating that dentists earn more than doctors however I’m a tad bit confused as to why people say this as if you look at the actual statistics on google, it says medical consultants earn around 80k a year while dentists earn around 50k a year. Even in foundation training doctors and dentists both earn the same, about 25k.

I’m aware that obviously you shouldn’t just go into a job for the money but I’m just confused as to why people say this when the actual statistics say otherwise.
FY1 doctors start on ~£27,100.

The reason why people say that is because dentists have more private opportunities.

You are comparing NHS salaries, a new hospital consultant on the NHS earns ~£77000 per year.
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epicnm
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A lot of dentists are private and a lot more services with dental practices are privatised, which would explain why some dentists earn more than NHS doctors, especially seeing as the majority of dentists work 9-5
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ilyas.100
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That still doesn’t make sense though as doctors work around 50 hours per week - 2600 hours a year while dentists work 40 hours a week - 2080 hours a year. If you divide the salaries by the working hours, doctors still earn more
(Original post by a.ayre14)
I'm no expert on this but I think that doctors often work much longer hours than dentists. This could mean that dentists earn more per hour but not more per year.
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ilyas.100
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Ohh ok yeah that does make sense. Even then dentists wouldn’t earn THAT much more than doctors so why do people make it out to be that way
(Original post by epicnm)
A lot of dentists are private and a lot more services with dental practices are privatised, which would explain why some dentists earn more than NHS doctors, especially seeing as the majority of dentists work 9-5
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
That still doesn’t make sense though as doctors work around 50 hours per week - 2600 hours a year while dentists work 40 hours a week - 2080 hours a year. If you divide the salaries by the working hours, doctors still earn more
(Original post by a.ayre14)
I'm no expert on this but I think that doctors often work much longer hours than dentists. This could mean that dentists earn more per hour but not more per year.
For doctors who do on-calls, they get paid more over and above the basic salary. e.g. the £27,100 per year that an FY1 receives will be more because of on-calls.

As I said OP (and you have ignored my post), it is mostly down to the fact that dentists do more private work.

I will try and correct any misconceptions in this thread.
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ilyas.100
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Without doing private work though, doctors would earn more right?
(Original post by ecolier)
For doctors who do on-calls, they get paid more over and above the basic salary. e.g. the £27,100 per year that an FY1 receives will be more because of on-calls.

As I said OP (and you have ignored my post), it is mostly down to the fact that dentists do more private work.

I will try and correct any misconceptions in this thread.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
Without doing private work though, doctors would earn more right?
It's hard to compare because it is virtually a given that dentists will do private work; whereas many NHS hospital consultants do not actually do it.

One more thing, there are a lot of medical specialties (like mine for example) which are not too hard on working hours.
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ilyas.100
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That makes sense however private employers tend to employ more mature dentists with more experience, so for the majority of a dentists life they wouldn’t get that many private opportunities
(Original post by ecolier)
FY1 doctors start on ~£27,100.

The reason why people say that is because dentists have more private opportunities.

You are comparing NHS salaries, a new hospital consultant on the NHS earns ~£77000 per year.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
That makes sense however private employers tend to employ more mature dentists with more experience, so for the majority of a dentists life they wouldn’t get that many private opportunities
Not necessarily. There is private opportunities for dentists virtually anywhere.

Whereas the reverse is true for hospital doctors - you would virtually not be able to work privately anywhere before you are a consultant.
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username4852418
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It all depends whether you are NHS or private.
Last edited by username4852418; 1 year ago
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ilyas.100
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By the way, just a quick sub- question. If you work private as well as in the NHS does that mean you have to do extra hours, thus making you work >40 hours a week?
(Original post by ecolier)
Not necessarily. There is private opportunities for dentists virtually anywhere.

Whereas the reverse is true for hospital doctors - you would virtually not be able to work privately anywhere before you are a consultant.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
By the way, just a quick sub- question. If you work private as well as in the NHS does that mean you have to do extra hours, thus making you work >40 hours a week?
No, you don't have to do it. A lot of my consultant colleagues do it, usually outside working hours (to suit their clientelle).

Remember, you don't have to work 40 hours for the NHS - you can always work less in the NHS and more privately.
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Democracy
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
I’ve read through numerous threads stating that dentists earn more than doctors however I’m a tad bit confused as to why people say this as if you look at the actual statistics on google, it says medical consultants earn around 80k a year while dentists earn around 50k a year. Even in foundation training doctors and dentists both earn the same, about 25k.

I’m aware that obviously you shouldn’t just go into a job for the money but I’m just confused as to why people say this when the actual statistics say otherwise.
I think a more accurate way of looking at it might be that dentists initially have to work fewer hours and endure less hoop jumping than a doctor with a similar number of years of experience - and still earn a good salary. Dentists don't have to sit expensive postgraduate exams or go through many years of specialty training (although some will choose to do this) with nights, weekend work etc, so I suspect this may be what those threads are getting at. But, as always, it's TSR, so generalisations and conjecture abound.

I don't think it's necessarily true that dentists earn more than medical consultants. A lot of dentists still work within the NHS (i.e. not lucrative) and even the private treatments which the average high street general dental practice offers aren't really that much of a money spinner compared with medical consultancy.

What I would class as truly lucrative "private dentistry" i.e. private clinics, Harley St vibe, high fees per treatment, prosthetic/cosmetic work, international clientele etc is not something that's done by most dentists as far as I'm aware, and requires a significant amount of experience and further investment and training.

I think you can go into medicine and easily dispense with nights and weekends after FY2 if you pick the right specialty. Or you can go into a specialty which makes lots of money (both in the NHS and privately). Or you can go into a specialty with endless nights and weekends and little potential for private work if that's what you like. The world is your oyster!

This is all coming from a non-dentist btw.
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ilyas.100
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One LAST question (sorry if I’m annoying you lol) so I’ve read that dentists and doctors can earn more if they work solely private. So why don’t all of them do that then to maximise their income?
(Original post by ecolier)
No, you don't have to do it. A lot of my consultant colleagues do it, usually outside working hours (to suit their clientelle).

Remember, you don't have to work 40 hours for the NHS - you can always work less in the NHS and more privately.
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ecolier
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
One LAST question (sorry if I’m annoying you lol) so I’ve read that dentists and doctors can earn more if they work solely private. So why don’t all of them do that then to maximise their income?
You're not annoying me at all!

You can work privately all the time and that's what some (usually famous doctors) do. However, NHS is where you build your name / reputation so people tend to work both in NHS and privately.

Meanwhile, there are many doctors and dentists who are altruistic and didn't enter the vocation for money so they don't care! Please don't be motivated by money, you'll find it very hard to go through the first 10-15 years that way.
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ilyas.100
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So basically, solely working for the NHS, doctors earn more but have lots more working hours whereas dentists earn less but have a more relaxed life
(Original post by Democracy)
I think a more accurate way of looking at it might be that dentists initially have to work fewer hours and endure less hoop jumping than a doctor with a similar number of years of experience - and still earn a good salary. Dentists don't have to sit expensive postgraduate exams or go through many years of specialty training (although some will choose to do this) with nights, weekend work etc, so I suspect this may be what those threads are getting at. But, as always, it's TSR, so generalisations and conjecture abound.

I don't think it's necessarily true that dentists earn more than medical consultants. A lot of dentists still work within the NHS (i.e. not lucrative) and even the private treatments which the average high street general dental practice offers aren't really that much of a money spinner compared with medical consultancy.

What I would class as truly lucrative "private dentistry" i.e. private clinics, Harley St vibe, high fees per treatment, prosthetic/cosmetic work, international clientele etc is not something that's done by most dentists as far as I'm aware, and requires a significant amount of experience and further investment and training.

I think you can go into medicine and easily dispense with nights and weekends after FY2 if you pick the right specialty. Or you can go into a specialty which makes lots of money (both in the NHS and privately). Or you can go into a specialty with endless nights and weekends and little potential for private work if that's what you like. The world is your oyster!

This is all coming from a non-dentist btw.
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tazarooni89
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Your earnings are far more heavily dependent on things like:

- The proportion of NHS work you do compared to private work
- Whether you are an employee, or an owner/partner of a practice
- The amount of freelance/locum work you do
... etc.

If you're comparing like for like (i.e. NHS Doctor vs NHS Dentist) then perhaps the doctor might earn more, as there is currently a greater shortage of them within the NHS. On the other hand, doctors are far more likely than dentists to be on the lower paid side of the issues I mentioned above (i.e. working full time in the NHS as an employee, with no private or locum work).
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Democracy
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(Original post by ilyas.100)
So basically, solely working for the NHS, doctors earn more but have lots more working hours whereas dentists earn less but have a more relaxed life
Depends on the specialty! For acute specialties vs general dental practice, that's probably true.
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