THE 'shambolic' introduction of new contracts for dentists has left practices across England and Wales in confusion, the profession's national body said.
Some 90% of local dental committees taking part in a survey for the British Dental Association said practitioners in their area were experiencing difficulties with the contracts.
Dentists must sign them by March 31 if they are to continue to deliver NHS services.
Under the new system, dentists will receive money from their local primary care trust according to how many NHS treatments they carry out.
But the association said practices could not plan because trusts could not tell them how much money they would get.
Health minister Rosie Winterton said the survey, which covered 34 of the 109 local dental committees in England and Wales, did not reflect the true situation.
She said the new contracts were a "good and fair offer" for dentists, who would earn an average £80,000 a year for 5% less work.