DENTAL students who started their degree in 2013-14 face "staggering levels" of debt according to a study by the BDA.
The study found that students finishing their degree in 2018-19 face not only £9,000 a-year tuition fees but also a potential shortfall of at least £38,000 in maintenance funding over their five-year course.
The BDA research also found that students who sat their final-year exams in 2012-13 had an average debt of £24,734 at the end of their studies. Around half of all these said they had experienced financial difficulties during their degrees, which some linked to a shortfall in mainstream funding available to them in their final year.
Chair of the BDA’s Student Committee, Dr Paul Blaylock, said: "Student debt is a growing concern in dentistry, which is likely to get worse with the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees.
"Those who struggle to make ends meet also have to put up with inadequate maintenance loans.
"The BDA believes that maintenance loans could be increased to ease the financial pressures for dental students.
"It’s important that those who come from less affluent backgrounds are not deterred from taking up dentistry – all of the best, brightest and most caring candidates should be able to join the profession."