Statutory functions

The work of the General Dental Council (GDC) is defined and governed by the Dentists Act 1984, which set out the following objectives:

  • To protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and well-being of the public.
  • To promote and maintain confidence in the dental profession.
  • To promote and maintain proper professional standards and conduct for members of those professions.

​GDC legislative responsibilities

Under the Dentists Act 1984 the GDC has five specific responsibilities that it has the powers to enact:

  • Grant registration only to those dental professionals who meet our requirements on education and training, health and good character. Only those who are registered with us can practice dentistry in the UK.
  • Set standards for providers of dental education and training in the UK set standards of conduct, performance and ethics for the dental team.
  • Set standards of conduct, performance and ethics for the dental team.
  • Investigate complaints against dental professionals and where appropriate take action through our Fitness to Practise process.
  • Require dental professionals to keep their skills up to date through our continuing professional development requirements.

In addition, we provide the Dental Complaints Service​ (DCS) which resolves complaints between private patients and dental professionals.​