We welcome the provisional registration changes and further collaboration with the dental sector to create a new system that benefits professionals and the public

16 February, 2024

The government’s announcement that it intends to legislate to create a new category of provisional registration for dentists qualified outside the UK is very welcome.

Provisional registration will provide an additional route for joining the UK dental workforce and will allow dentists to adapt to the UK practice environment while being supported and supervised.

This will be the single biggest change to dental regulation for almost twenty years.

Successful implementation will be a substantial task and will depend on close collaboration across the dental sector and across the four nations of the UK.

The legislative changes announced by the government are the essential first step in delivering provisional registration, but they are only the first step. There is much to be done to design the processes which will allow provisional registration to work safely and effectively, to consult on and set the detailed rules which will underpin that – and then to ensure that the supervisory capacity and practice environments are in place to support internationally-qualified dentists to achieve full registration.

It is not yet possible to assess how many additional dentists will be enabled to work in the UK as a result of these changes. That will depend on how provisional registration schemes are developed and above all on the number of places providers are able to offer.

We fully support the new possibilities provisional registration will open up. But the absolute priority will remain that patients and the public can be confident that the treatment they receive is provided by a dental professional who is properly trained and qualified and who meets our standards.  Standards to be provisionally registered and practise under supervision must meet these expectations. 

Stefan Czerniawski, Executive Director, Strategy, said:

“It’s good to see DHSC acting quickly to make the legislative changes necessary to allow for provisional registration.

“That will be the first step towards the biggest single change to dental regulation for many years. We need to move at pace but not lose sight of the fundamental requirement to protect patients and ensure that they receive high quality dental care. As we work towards the introduction of provisional registration, we will ensure that our standards continue to be met and that provisional registrants receive the support they need to practise safely and to prepare for the transition to full registration.”