Objectives To identify the available workforce in general dental practice and to describe the job satisfaction, career and retirement plans of dentists in general and community practice.
Design A postal cross-sectional survey.
Setting Primary care dentists practising in Scotland in 2000.
Materials and methods Semi-structured questionnaires were sent to all primary care dentists identified from the Scottish Dental Practice Division as being in practice in Scotland.
Results The response rate was 70% (1,335 GDPs and 187 CDPs). Although most dentists in both the GDS and COS stated that they enjoyed their work, 35% of GDPs would not now choose dentistry as 6 career. Eighty-three per cent of the GDPs' time was spent on clinical work, of which 5% was not NHS-funded. Daily demotivation was reported by 70%, most commonly citing the job itself and the NHS 'treadmill'. Two-thirds of COPS were women, as were half of GDPs aged less than 30. Only 35% of CDPs planned early retirement but 80% of them felt underused. Two-thirds of GDPs planned to retire in their mid-50s, and a further quarter planned to work part-time. Of the former, only a quarter agreed that nothing would induce them to work beyond this time.
Conclusion Conditions of work within primary care dentistry require modification to retain the current workforce and accommodate the increasing proportion of women. Part-time employment packages may encourage older practitioners to work for longer, and allow younger practitioners I to fulfil family or personal commitments.
- DENTAL PRACTITIONERS