The government has said it will be increasing the salary of the group of dentists who provide care in schools and to elderly people by 10 percent from next year. Around £7 million will be distributed among the 1,400 UK community dentists.
The announcement said that the community dentists would receive the same pay as their hospital counterparts. "Salaried dentists have a long and important tradition as an essential part of the overall provision of dentistry in this country, looking
particularly after the dental needs of children and other vulnerable groups, including those with special needs," said health minister Rosie Winterton. "It is important that, like their colleagues in other branches of medicine and dentistry, their roles and working conditions support the delivery of high quality clinical services for patients, and recruitment and retention of staff." All dental associations welcomed this announcement. Acting Chief Dental Officer Barry Cockcroft said, "These reforms will create a new pay scale for salaried primary care dentists which rewards competence, contribution and experience." Janet Clarke, chairman of the British Dental Association's (BDA) Central Committee for Community and Public Health Dentistry, said the government was finally recognizing the contribution made by community dentists, "We look forward to this recognition being translated into real changes to support and encourage dentists working in this crucial area."