8551.0 - Dental Services, Australia, 1997-98  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/1999   
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Dental industry records 27% profit - ABS

The Australian dental services industry recorded an operating profit margin of 26.9% in 1997-98, according to figures released today in a new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Overall the industry generated a total income of $1,685 million and total expenses of $1,234 million, which resulted in an operating profit before tax of $451 million.

The average return (either in the form of wages and/or business profits) to each dental practitioner was $87,000 in 1997-98.
This return varied with the type of dental practice, with general dental services practices having a lower return per practitioner ($76,600) than oral surgery practices ($183,000) and other specialist dental practices ($165,500).

There were 7,134 dental practitioners working in private practice during March 1998, of whom 6,299 were general dental practitioners and 835 were specialists. This equals one dental practitioner for every 2,628 people in Australia.

However total employment in the industry at the end of June 1998 was 24,108 people with over two-thirds employed as support staff. This represented a ratio of 2.3 support staff per practitioner.

Overall general practitioners were younger than specialist with 56% of general practitioners being less than 45 years of age, whereas only 45% of specialists were in this age group.

Males dominated the profession, with 79% of dental practitioners being male. This gender imbalance varied with age, with 58% of practitioners less than 35 years of age being male compared with 93% of those aged 55 years or more. The proportion of males varied by type of practitioner, with 78% of general dental practitioners and 86% of specialists being male.

In an average working week, Australian dental practitioners had 409,271 patient consultations: on average, each dental practitioner dealt with 57 consultations per week. General dental practitioners averaged 54 consultations per week while specialists averaged 86 consultations per week.

Further details are in Dental Services, Australia, 1997-98 (cat. no. 8551.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of the publication is also available on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.