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Registration in the UK of dentists and dental care professionals who have qualified overseas

07 February, 2024

Briefing: Facts, issues and priorities

​The General Dental Council (GDC) is the UK-wide statutory regulator of the members of the dental team. There were 120,000 people registered with us as of 31 December 2023, comprising 45,000 dentists and 75,000 dental care professionals (DCPs).   

 ​We regulate the whole dental team, across the four nations of the UK, including dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists, orthodontic therapists, dental technicians, and clinical dental technicians.  

Our primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in the dental professionals we regulate. Our over-arching objective, which is set out in the Dentists Act 1984, is the protection of the public. We achieve this through the following objectives:

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

​​To achieve this, we register qualified dental professionals, set the professional standards for the dental team, investigate concerns raised about dental professionals’ fitness to practise and work to ensure the quality of dental education.