Tracking confidence in the future of NHS dentistry


The results of the fourth NHS Confidence Monitor survey provide a snapshot of the mood within the profession and continue to highlight low confidence levels.

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About the NHS Confidence Monitor

The number of respondents of each survey remains significant and interest in the results continues to grow, with the GDC recently commenting on what they show. 

Further Insights

Carried out every six months, this current survey is the fourth in the series. The first was carried out at the end of 2014.

After each survey, a group of key opinion leaders are brought together to discuss the results to provide wider insight.

Interest is growing

Fourth in the series

With continuing changes and uncertainty within dentistry in the UK, the NHS Confidence Monitor survey has evolved to gain further insight into the factors which influence not only the confidence levels of those working within the NHS, but their happiness levels too! 

So, if you’re a practice owner, principal dentist or an associate with experience of working within the NHS, then get involved and share your views by taking part. 

Don't miss your chance to make your voice heard!

Take part in the fifth NHS Confidence Monitor

  • Overall confidence in the future of NHS dentistry 
  • Their future career prospects
  • Getting the balance of treatment vs. prevention right
  • Remuneration levels
  • The ability for the team to work effectively within the NHS
  • If patients will be happy with the level of care provided
  • If you would recommend a friend to the profession
  • Retirement age.

  •            If they're glad they entered the profession.
  •            How confidence in dentistry could be improved. 

Almost 500 dental professionals rated their confidence levels across these key statements:


The results of the fourth survey

Unsurprisingly, the results of this fourth NHS Confidence Monitor reiterate the findings of earlier surveys. They show a real lack of confidence in the future of NHS dentistry and the ability of the Government to introduce a contract which offers the right balance of treatment versus prevention.  


The results also revealed that more than half of all respondents had ideas about how the profession’s confidence in NHS dentistry could be improved, other than through a change in contract. This included more respect and support from the public, the GDC and the Government, plus less bureaucracy and regulation.

"It is sad that public perception of the dental profession is negatively influenced by the ways in which contract restrictions adversely affect the care the dental team can provide to NHS patients. I share the view that, despite being disillusioned, members of the dental team have a passion and unswerving belief in the effectiveness and importance of the oral healthcare provision they are capable of delivering."

Tony Kilcoyne 

We’ve shared the results with some of the ground-level dentists and key players within

the profession to gain their thoughts on the results of the latest survey.

"As a dentist who is very involved with the media, I want to help to turn things around in terms of informing the public about not only just the problems in dentistry but also what dentistry has to offer the public with regard to general and dental health benefits. We need to go large in the media so that the public can realistically appreciate what their options are and what can be done, preventively."

Professional opinion

Professor Nairn Wilson

Former President of the General Dental Council and British Dental Association


You can also take a look back at past surveys and see how opinion has changed.

Grab your copy of the most recent results.

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