Total number of registered UK dentists increases following recent renewal

15 January, 2024

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 ARF20202021202220232024
ARF payments received (by 31 December)41,34041,61542,06642,98244,200
Other registrations1154248149148172
Register count following removals241,49441,86342,21543,13044,209
Removals as % of ARF payments received2.4%2.9%2.6%2.3%2.3%

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 2024).
2Register count in week following the renewal period.
3Reasons 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. 

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. 

We publish  monthly registration reports which provide further information.