Specialist Lists

If you’re a dentist registered with us, you may apply to join one of our 13 specialist lists.

The specialist lists are lists of registered dentists who meet certain conditions and are entitled to use a specialist title. You don’t have to join a specialist list to practise any particular specialty, but you can only use the title 'specialist' if you are on the list.

See the list of specialities 

Entry to the lists

To apply for entry to the specialist lists you must be eligible under one of the agreed entry criteria:  

UK trained specialists – entry criteria

If you hold full GDC registration and have completed a specialist training programme approved by the GDC you may apply for the award of a certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST) and entry onto the relevant specialist list. Further information is available from your local postgraduate dental deanery.

Certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST)

If you are thinking of training to become a specialist in the UK you must complete a training programme approved by the GDC, leading to the award of a CCST. Please note that you must hold full GDC registration to be awarded a CCST.

Applications for approved training programmes must be submitted to your regional postgraduate dental dean who will monitor you throughout your period of training. At the end of your training you must hold the agreed qualification awarded by one of the Royal Surgical Colleges. You must fulfil all entry, training and assessment criteria to be eligible for the award of a CCST.

For information about the availability of training programmes in your area and information on how to apply, contact your regional postgraduate dental dean.

Specialty curricula

The following specialty curricula have been approved by the GDC:

Dental and maxillofacial radiology
Dental public health curriculum
Endodontics curriculum
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology curriculum
Oral medicine curriculum  
Oral microbiology curriculum1
Oral Surgery Curriculum2
Orthodontic Curriculum
Paediatric Dentistry
Periodontics Curriculum
Prosthodontics Curriculum
Restorative Dentistry Curriculum
Special Care Dentistry Curriculum3

New trainees for programmes leading to the award of a CCST will be taught and assessed according to the 2009/10 curricula.

These curricula will also be valid for those applying under alternative routes.

In 2015, the Council adopted the Standards for Specialty Education, for use in quality assuring specialty education in the UK. The Standards set quality requirements for all UK education and training programmes leading to inclusion on one of the GDC's specialist lists.

The current edition of the Standards for Specialty Education was published in January 2019 and can be found below:

Standards for specialty education 2019 (344.6 KB, PDF)

This revision was informed by the results of a pilot quality assurance process, and a public consultation. The GDC will begin quality assuring specialty education and training programmes in 2019.

1 The GDC gave formal approval to the curriculum of the Oral Microbiology Sub-committee of the Specialty Advisory Committee for the Additional Dental Specialties in June 2013.

2The Oral Surgery curriculum of 2010 has recently been updated to give more guidance on the methods by which trainees may be assessed and, in particular, it maps the Membership exam onto the learning outcomes of the curriculum. These amendments do not change the learning outcomes or core curriculum.

3 This curriculum dated 2012 supersedes earlier versions of the Special Care Dentistry curriculum. Changes made to the curriculum since the CCST in Special Care Dentistry was first introduced have been minor. In particular, this latest documents clarifies that the Tri-Collegiate Diploma of Membership in Special Care Dentistry (M Spec Care Dentistry) is now in place. All trainees on CCST programmes in Special Care Dentistry will follow this curriculum. Earlier versions of the curriculum are available on request from the GDC.  

Restorative dentistry, endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics

If you have completed a GDC-recognised specialist training programme and been awarded a CCST in restorative dentistry under the previous curriculum you may also apply for a CCST and entry to the specialist lists in one or more of the former mono-specialties – endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics - provided you submit a separate application for each.

For those dentists completing specialist training under the new curriculum for restorative dentistry and wishing to apply for entry onto one of the related lists (endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics) a different procedure from that described above will apply.

Restorative dentistry policy statement 

The new curriculum for restorative dentistry is available above.

Review of the specialty curricula

In 2016, the GDC began the process of revising all dental specialty curricula, in conjunction with the Specialist Advisory Committees (SACs), the UK Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors (COPDEND) and other stakeholders.

As part of this process, the GDC has led the development of a generic template that will serve as the basis of each specialty curriculum. The template will identify and set out those aspects common to all curricula, regardless of specialty, and ensure consistency of language, definitions and structure across the final publications. It consists of generic behaviours, attitudes, knowledge, and broader non-clinical areas like communication, management and leadership. It will ensure that any new curricula reflect and are consistent with the GDC's ​Standards for Specialty Education. New curricula, modelled on this template, will be introduced in the near future.

All ot
her entry criteria

Please refer to the relevant application pack for the guidance notes detailing all other entry criteria for entry onto the specialist lists.

All applicants for the specialist lists need to show that they have met the requirements of the relevant specialty curricula leading to the award of a CCST.


The entry fee for each of the specialist lists is £345. The entry fee covers your inclusion on a specialist list until the next ARF due date, no matter when in the year you pay it. The annual fee for retaining entry on our specialist lists is £72 per speciality and must be paid along with the ARF to remain on the dentists register. If you are applying for entry in November or December, you will also need to pay the annual speciality retention fee. This is because the annual retention fee is due by 31 December. If you are enclosing original documents with your application and would like these returned by recorded delivery, please add £10 to your fee.

You will find a payment section in your application form which you should complete before you return it, as incomplete forms cannot be processed. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to 'General Dental Council' - please write your full name on the reverse. You will find a payment section in your application form which you should complete before you return it, as incomplete forms cannot be processed. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to 'General Dental Council' - please write your full name on the reverse.

Entry into the UK voluntary register for public health specialists

Please see the UK 'voluntary register for public health specialists' website for information on their registration procedures.

If you have any questions on applying to join the specialist lists please contact us.

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