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More dentists earning over £300,000

More than 400 dentists in England and Wales earn over £300,000 a year, figures have shown.

Some 410 earned that amount before tax and after expenses, pay figures for 2008-09 revealed.

The number was up 8% on the 380 who earned more than £300,000 in 2007-08.

Another 150 dentists earned between £275,000 and £300,000 in 2008-09, while 130 earned between £250,000 and £275,000. A total of 240 dentists earned £225,000 to £250,000 and 330 earned £200,000 to £225,000.

Another 1,250 earned between £150,00 and £200,000 while 3,030 earned between £100,000 and £150,000. Overall, 5,540 dentists earned more than £100,000 a year.

The data was released by the NHS Information Centre and covers both NHS and income from private patients.

Overall, dentists earned an average of £89,600, including those working full and part-time. This was their salary before tax, but after expenses were taken into account, and was up on the £89,100 in the previous year.

For those who work under a contract with their primary care trust or local health board, running the practice and providing dentistry, their salary was £131,000 on average, while for those who work for the practice owner or company, frequently working part-time, earnings were £67,800 on average.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the Government recently announced a two-year pay freeze for all NHS staff earning more than £21,000 a year.

It is "currently considering how best to apply this pay freeze to groups such as GPs and dentists", taking into account both their personal pay and practice expenses.

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