The General Dental Council exists to protect the public from poor and illegal practice by dental professionals. In addition to operating the registration of dental professionals, the GDC also assures the quality of training and education. In the process, it collates all sorts of interesting facts and statistics about the dental industry in the UK. The Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street is just one of hundreds of clinics across the UK whose dental staff are, by law, registered with the GDC.
According to the GDC, at the end of 2014, there were 109,956 dental professionals registered in the UK. If you break the statistics down by job title you find that of these only 37% are dentists. It is dental nurses who make up the largest group at 48.1% of the total.
The GDC also keeps a record of where all the dentists on the register were trained. The report shows that 71.7% of dentists were trained in the UK, compared to 100% of Clinical Dental Technicians. However, when the GDC examined just the professionals who joined the register in 2014 the figures are very different. Only 58% of dentist who joined the register in 2014 qualified in the UK. Another difference is in the number of dentists who qualified in the EEA (European Economic Area). Overall, the percentage was 16.9% but of the dentists who joined in 2014 28.5% had qualified in the EEA. That’s an increase of almost 17%.
What does this show? Well, it could mean that British trainee dentists are finding it more affordable to train in the EU than in the UK. It could also mean that this apparent influx of EEA-trained dentists is a response to the opportunities in this country as demand for dental treatment in the UK is growing.
In 2015 finance provider LDF published some figures about the cosmetic dentist marketplace in the UK. It said that there has been a huge rise in cosmetic treatment with earnings among the top private dentists increasing by up to 22% from 2014 to 2014.
The increase in popularity of cosmetic treatment is clearly attracting professionals to the UK market. It is therefore likely that the UK will see a rise in British students opting to study dentistry as a result.