Total number of registered UK dentists remains stable following renewal

17 January, 2022
The number of dentists on the UK Register, following the recent annual renewal period, has remained stable and in line with the trajectory of previous years. On the morning after removals there were 42,215 dentists on the Register, an increase on the equivalent figure for 2021. 

This year, 1,079 dentists did not renew their registration, which is 2.56% of those on the Register on 31 December. This compares to an average of 2.96% over the previous four years. 

Dentist ARF20182019202020212022
ARF payments received (by 31 December)40,17340,65941,34041,61542,066

Other registrations 1

Register count following removals 240,33640,82241,49441,86342,215
Removals 31,3681,3029751,1911,079
Removals as % of ARF payments received3.41%3.20%2.36%2.86%2.56%

1The 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 2021)
Register count in week following the renewal period.
3 Reasons for removal include voluntary removal, non-payment, retirement, and notifications of death.

GDC Chief Operating Officer, Gurvinder Soomal, said: 

“Following such a challenging period in dentistry which continues for many, it is encouraging to see the number of registered dentists in the UK remain stable.” 

These figures provide a useful benchmark for the total number of dentists registered in the UK. However, it is important to note that they do 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 condition, or the numbers of professionals working in different roles (e.g. academic). 

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. 

We publish monthly registration reports which provide further information.