Is skill mix profitable in the current NHS dental contract in England?

Br Dent J. 2011 Apr 9;210(7):303-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2011.238.


The use of skill mix in medicine is now widespread, yet it appears that its use in dentistry is not as prominent. Unlike doctors, dentists are required to mitigate the financial risk produced by their capital investment and ensure an adequate cash flow to cover their annual running costs. Examining the financial incentives for employing dental care professionals is therefore an important step to understand why dentistry appears to lag behind medicine in skill mix. It is also apposite, given the announcement of the coalition government to develop a new contract, which could introduce incentives for the use of dental care professionals in this way. The purpose of this short paper is to examine whether skill mix is profitable for general dental practices under the existing NHS contract in England.

MeSH terms

  • Contracts*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delegation, Professional
  • Dental Assistants / economics
  • Dental Auxiliaries* / economics
  • Dental Hygienists / economics
  • Dentists*
  • England
  • Financial Management / economics
  • Financial Management / organization & administration
  • General Practice, Dental / economics
  • General Practice, Dental / organization & administration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Motivation
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Practice Management, Dental / economics
  • Practice Management, Dental / organization & administration
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Assessment
  • State Dentistry*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Workforce