Some NHS dentists are earning up to £250,000 a year in fees as demand for those who have remained in the public sector increases, figures show.
Other official statistics reveal that the gap in average earnings between NHS dentists and their private counterparts has narrowed to just £800 a year.
A top 50 list of the biggest gross earnings by NHS dental practices has been released to the Times by the Dental Practice Board for England and Wales under the Freedom of Information Act.
At the top is a surgery in the West Midlands with 26 dentists, which took £2.2m in gross fees last year. Six dentists at a practice in Essex took £1.6m in fees, equivalent to £267,732 for each dentist before their overheads were taken into account.
But the most successful per head is a practice in West Yorkshire run by two principal dentists, which took £1.4m over the same period.