We have used your feedback to create a survey that now focuses on a much wider range of issues affecting dentists today including:

  • The GDC

The survey also offers an opportunity for both NHS and private dentists to share your views on the rollout of the reformed NHS contract and how it might affect profitability, workload and goodwill.


watch this space for the results


"It is incumbent on the dental profession to make their voices heard, however possible, to try to bring about change – change for our colleagues and for our patients. I urge you to participate in this survey
and put your weight behind the door of change."

Joe Hendron - Owner of a former prototype practice


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 years it 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. The survey in 2018 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 2018 survey don't see themselves still operating within the NHS in five years' time.

Simon Thackeray explains why he believes the number
of dentists planning to leave the NHS is so high.


Discussing the 2018 results

Key opinion leaders from the profession and members of the new generation of dentists came together to discuss the results of last year's survey.

Eddie Crouch and Ros Keeton discuss the potential impact on the profession of increasing numbers of young dentists choosing to have a 'portfolio career', spending only part of their week working in dentistry once they're qualified.

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

For more details of what was talked about, the full panel discussions are available to download below.

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?

Download our no obligation brochure.
No pressure, no hard sell, just useful information

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

© Copyright 2019.

All rights reserved. Practice Plan Ltd