NHS confidence monitor
  • Patient care
  • Remuneration
  • Working hours
  • Work/life balance
  • Managing patient expectations
  • Job satisfaction
  • Stress levels.

The NHS Confidence Monitor survey has been running since 2014 monitoring confidence levels in the future of NHS dentistry. Over the last two surveys, it has evolved to include private dentists and questions on happiness levels, providing a more detailed picture of what it’s like to work in dentistry today. This survey asked how happy both NHS and private dentists are across seven areas of working life:

They were also asked how they felt about other topics, including:

  • Adhering to GDC standards
  • The risk of complaints/litigation
  • NHS dentistry as a core service.

Q. Do you see yourself operating within the NHS in five years’ time?

NHS dentistry faces a growing threat of mass exodus

Q. If you’re thinking of leaving the NHS, what are you planning to do?

*264 respondents

More than three quarters of NHS dentists who took part in the survey don't see themselves still operating within the NHS in five years' time.


Discussing the results

Key opinion leaders from the profession and members of the new generation of dentists came together to discuss the results of the survey. Debating the big issues from the two different perspectives generated lively, insightful discussions.

Key opinion leaders: David Houston, Joe Hendron, Ros Keeton, Simon Thackeray, Paul Worskett, Eddie Crouch
Young dentists: David Bretton, Bethany Rushworth, Petros Mylonas, Jasmine Lobo with Eddie Crouch

NHS dentistry Insights panel discussions

A difficult balancing
act for NHS dentists

85% of NHS dentists said they found it difficult or very difficult to balance professionalism with the highest standards of excellence while working within the NHS.

Q The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence
and professionalism. How easy do you find it to balance professionalism and working within an NHS contract?

private patient expectations

Private dentistry paints 

a much happier picture

Dentists working within the NHS are significantly
more unhappy than those working in private dentistry.

Q. When thinking about working within the NHS, how happy are you that you...

Q. Compared to when you were working in the NHS, how happy are you that you...

This trend continued across all seven areas of working life we asked about, see the full set of results here.




Are you one of the 48% of dentists who is planning to move to private dentistry but aren't sure where to start with planning your transition?

how to guide

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your future

Download any or all of the adjacent PDFs to see the results from our past surveys, which asked professionals about their confidence in the future of NHS dentistry.

View the previous survey results

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