Dentists are paid a wage of about £2,000 a year and have been in a long-term slump, with the number of graduates rising in recent years but not enough to fill the number vacancies.
Read more here: The dental profession has suffered a severe downturn in recent times, according to the Association of Dentists of England and Wales.
The latest figures from the British Dental Association show that the number practicing dentists fell by more than 1,100 last year, from a peak of more than 7,300 in 2014.
A further 9,600 people, or 1 in 10, are dentists who no longer practice.
In contrast, the number working in the general dentistry sector rose by 7,100, to 2,300.
Some dentists are also considering retirement, with around 3,500 people aged over 65 who do not practice, or are currently working part-time.
However, the majority of dentists in the UK are still employed, meaning the number in the workforce is not declining, but is actually growing.
Although there has been a significant increase in dentists practising full-time since 2014, they are still working fewer hours than the population, which accounts for about three quarters of dentistry.
This is due to the fact that fewer people are working part time, and a large proportion of those dentists have been doing this for years.
While many dentists earn more than £1,000 per week, the average salary is around £800.
It is the dentists’ own choice to retire early, but many are not willing to do so because it will lead to losing their jobs, or losing their benefits.
Dentists also need to look at whether they want to stay in the profession.
Most dentists do not want to take on the same job again, and many say they would rather not work in dentistry than other areas.
But the biggest issue is the shortage of dental assistants, with just 2,000 dentists left in the country.