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Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 02:28 GMT
Tooth extraction takes 17.6 minutes
Dental work
A filling takes nearly 21 minutes
Extracting a tooth at the dentist takes 17.6 minutes on average, according to statistics released by the British Dental Association (BDA).

A panel of dentists measured the time it took to carry out 21 key treatments.

They found that:
  • The average check-up lasts 11.3 minutes
  • A filling takes 20.9 minutes
  • It takes more than an hour to fit someone with a full set of dentures
  • A simple scaling takes 15.1 minutes
  • Refixing a crown takes 13.2 minutes
In every case the procedure took longer than was originally estimated.

The statistics were prepared as part of the BDA's evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body.

Average pay

The BDA survey also found that the average NHS dentist earns 47 an hour.

They work 43.5 hours a week, and after expenses, have net earnings of 46,700 a year.

The average dentist spends 405 hours a year on administration and other non-clinical activities - out of a total working time of 1,953 hours.

The figures are based on the average dentist, who has a "reasonable" commitment to NHS work but will also do some private practice.

Many dentists have increased their proportion of private work, because they argue that NHS work pays too little to be viable.

The survey, published in the British Dental Journal, says its findings are more accurate than Department of Health estimates which claim the average dentist earns 50,000 a year.

Three-quarters of dentists are men.

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See also:

08 Sep 99 |  Health
British keeping their teeth
28 Sep 99 |  Health
Blair: NHS dentistry for all
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