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Registration performance

13 July, 2022

Dentists and DCPs must be registered with the GDC to practise lawfully in the UK. Everyone who joins the register must be suitably qualified, or pass an assessment, and meet health, character and English language requirements to be considered fit to practise as a member of the dental team.

Registrant numbers for 2021

This table illustrates the total number of dentists and DCPs on the register as of 31 December 2021. DCPs who have more than one title, for example a dental hygienist who is also a dental therapist, are only counted once in this table.

There was a 0.7% increase in the total number of registrants from 113,960 at the end of 2020 to 114,777 at the end of 2021. (Note: 94 dentists are also registered as DCPs therefore are included in both numbers in the table).

Registrant typeNumber of registrants% of total

The composition of the register by gender of dentists and dental care professionals as of 31 December 2021

Percentages represent the proportion of gender composition to the overall register. The numbers presented in this table match table one.

Registrant typeMale% of totalFemale% of totalTotal

The composition of the register by dental grouping as of 31 December 2021

Illustration showing the composition of the register by dental grouping as of 31 December 2020

This table is a count of the number of members of each type of dental professional on the register. A dental professional who has more than one title is counted once for each title that they hold. Therefore, the total for this table is greater than the overall total number of registrants.

Registration titleNumber of registrants% of total titles on the RegisterNumber of new titles added in 2020% of total newly added in 2020
Dental nurse59,39949%4,69358%
Dental hygienist8,2617%92211%
Dental technician5,2894%1411.5%
Dental therapist4,3783.5%7058.5%
Orthodontic therapist822<1%1081.5%
Clinical dental technician383<1%24<1%

There was a 1.2% increase in the overall number of registered titles in 2021, from 120,406 in 2020 to 121,824 in 2021.

The composition of the register by region of qualification as of 31 December 2021

The ORE – UK statutory examination number is higher than seen in previous years reports. This is because this count now includes dentists with a primary Statutory Exam qualification who were previously counted in the UK and Rest of the world regions. This consequently reduces the UK and Rest of the world figures seen vs previous years as these registrants are now counted in the figures for ORE – UK Statutory examination.

New additions to the dentists register in 2021, by region of qualification

Region of qualificationAmount% of total
UK qualified30,88571.5%
EEA qualified7,09116%
ORE - UK Statutory Examination3,6638.5%
Rest of World qualified1,6534%

ORE registrations are very low in 2021. This is a direct result of the suspension of the ORE  examination from early 2020, due to the pandemic. These examinations restarted in January 2022.

DCPs, by region of qualification

Registration typeUK qualifiedEEA qualifiedRest of World qualifiedTotal
Dental nurse59,2061464759,399
Dental hygienist7,1843866918,261
Dental technician5,070198215,289
Dental therapist3,89214854,378
Orthodontic therapist803118822
Clinical dental technician381-2383
Total76,5367321, 26478,532
For a more detailed overview, you can download our full Annual Report and Accounts 2021.