The number of dentists on the UK Register, following the recent annual renewal period, has increased when compared to recent years.

On the morning after removals, there were 44,209 dentists on the Register. This is a 2.5% increase compared to last year with 1,079 more dentists on the register.

This year, 1,003 dentists did not renew their registration, which is 2.3% of those on the Register on 31 December. This compares to an average of 2.6% over the previous four years.

Dentist ARF 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
ARF payments received (by 31 December) 41,340 41,615 42,066 42,982 44,200
Other registrations1 154 248 149 148 172
Register count following removals2 41,494 41,863 42,215 43,130 44,209
Removals3 975 1,191 1,079 999 1,003
Removals as % of ARF payments received 2.4% 2.9% 2.6% 2.3% 2.3%

1. The Register is constantly changing. This figure includes ARF payments, restorations, fitness to practise retentions and new additions to the Register (between 1 and 5 January 2024).
2. Register count in week following the renewal period.
3. Reasons for removal include voluntary removal, non-payment, retirement, and notifications of death.

These figures provide a useful benchmark for the total number of dentists registered in the UK.

UK Fitness to Practise News

Writing on its website, the General Dental Council said:

“While we recognise there are important issues of concern, including access to NHS dental services and significant ongoing recruitment challenges in some areas, it is important to note that this data does not provide insight into the number of professionals working in different patterns (e.g. full time vs part time), how many dentists are working in NHS services compared to private practice, local workforce conditions, or the numbers of professionals working in different roles (e.g. academic).

“However, for the first time, as part of the dentists’ renewal process in 2023, we have gathered data about the work dentists do, including the number of hours they are working, whether they are working in the NHS or privately, and in clinical or non-clinical roles. We will publish these figures once the analysis is complete.

“While the register is constantly changing, what we invariably see (for both the dentist and dental care professional registers) is that over the course of the year, the number of registered professionals increases due to new registrations, and then that number drops at the point of renewal as professionals leave the Register for a range of reasons.”

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