§ Mrs. Iris Robinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many dentists commenced practice in the province in each year since 1990; how many were full-time in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Angela Smith
The information requested is not readily available for historic dental practitioner registrations prior to October 2002 when the dental list database was replaced. For the 2003 calendar year the figure was 58. There is no split available by full-time and part-time for dental practitioners. The figure includes new fully qualified dentists, dentists who have moved/returned to the province from Great Britain/Republic of Ireland and dentists who have returned to work after a career break. The figure excludes assistants who are employed directly by a dentist and work under the dentists' contract.
During a year there are also 24 Vocational Dental Practitioners who serve a year working with an established dental practitioner prior to starting working under their own contract within Northern Ireland.