What we can do

As a healthcare regulator, we can only help you in certain ways. Our key purpose is public protection.
Should your complaint not relate to illegal or unregistered practice, our Who Can Help page gives you details of other organisations which may be better suited to speak to you. 

Complaints about Illegal or Unregistered Practice

The GDC has a dedicated team who consider allegations of illegal or unregistered practice reported to it. Please see the Illegal Practice page to find out what constitutes illegal or unregistered practice.
Examples of some of the things that may constitute illegal practice:
  • ​Teeth Whitening

  • Using any of the protected titles above

  • Taking impressions of a patient's mouth

  • Making and/or fitting dentures directly to the public

  • ​​Implant treatment, root canal treatment when not a registered dentist

  • A dental professional continuing to practise dentistry when erased/suspended by a Practice Committee (including interim suspension)​


Can you give me legal advice?

As a statutory regulator, it is important that we remain fair, independent and objective. As such, we are unable to offer you any legal advice.
Should you wish to obtain legal advice in respect of a complaint you wish to make, have made, or are currently facing, then we encourage you to seek independent legal advice.

I want to claim compensation or a refund

If you are seeking compensation, you will need to get independent legal advice.
The GDC’s Policy Statement on Enforcement of Dentists Act Offences (541.6 KB, PDF) sets out the approach adopted by the GDC when considering an allegation of the commission of an offence by an unregistered individual.
Enforcement action taken by the GDC in accordance with the above policy is distinct from civil claims for compensation. This means that enforcement action may not be taken by the GDC, even where a civil claim may be pursued, independently of the GDC, by a complainant. In addition, enforcement action is not taken with the aim of assisting a complainant in making a civil claim for compensation.
However, should the GDC bring a successful criminal prosecution that results in a conviction, we can make an application for a compensation order where we consider it is appropriate to do so. In determining whether it is appropriate to apply for a compensation order, the following factors are considered:
  • ​Whether the loss can be quantified;

  • The impact of the quantified loss;

  • Whether there is evidence to support the quantified loss;

  • Whether the quantified loss can be shown to be wholly attributable to the conduct of the convicted person.

It should be noted however, that the seeking of compensation is not the purpose of enforcement action by the GDC, and the granting of any compensation cannot be guaranteed. The decision to award compensation is outside the control of the GDC and is entirely a matter for the judge or magistrates presiding over the case.

I am ready to make a complaint to you

If you would like to report someone you believe to be practising illegally you can do so in one of the following ways:

  • by completing the online form​;

  • by calling 020 7167 6000;

  • by writing to: Illegal Practice, General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London. W1G 8DQ​

I want to complain anonymously

The GDC is able to receive anonymous complaints relating to allegations of illegal or unregistered practice. However, if the GDC do not know the source of the complaint, it may impact on our ability to undertake and progress any investigation that may follow.

What information do you need?

When you are submitting your complaint, please include:
  • ​Your name, address and contact details;

  • The full name and address of the person or company you wish to complaint about (if known);

  • The nature of the query or complaint;

  • An explanation of what happened and the date it happened;

  • Details of any patient harm suffered;

  • Details of any action you have already taken thus far;

  • Any other information which you feel would prove useful.

It is helpful for us if you submit as much of this information as possible at an early stage. This will reduce the risk of delay in assessing your complaint and actioning it in accordance with our enforcement policy[SR5] .

I have submitted a complaint to the GDC and want an update

Our role is to consider all allegations of illegal or unregistered practice that are reported to us. Every allegation submitted to the Illegal Practice team is reviewed, assessed and actioned appropriately. As our work involves criminal investigations, it is not always possible to provide updates regarding the progress of an investigation. We will therefore only contact you should we require further information from you. 

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Contact GDC

+44 (0) 20 7167 6000

37 Wimpole Street

London W1G 8DQ


Secure area for dental professionals