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How can the GDC help me with illegal practice?

Our primary purpose is protecting the public from risk of harm.

If you have a complaint or concern about illegal practice please report it to us.

This might include:

  • Unregistered, erased or suspended individuals offering or providing dental treatment or advice.
  • Illegal tooth whitening.
  • Unregistered, erased or suspended individuals making or fitting dentures directly to the public.
  • Unregistered, erased or suspended individuals calling themselves 'dentists' or other dental titles.
  • Unregistered, erased or suspended individuals receiving payment for dental treatments or advice.
  • Companies which receive payment for dental treatments or advice where the majority of directors are not registered with us.

If you have a complaint or concern about the ability of a registered dental professional to perform dentistry safely, please contact our Fitness to Practise team.

If you have a complaint or concern about an individual or company selling or supplying tooth whitening products, please report this to your local Trading Standards office as they are empowered to handle complaints of this nature.

Should your complaint not relate to illegal practice or either of the areas outlined above, our Who can​ help page gives you details of other organisations which may be able to help you.

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 – what can you do to help me?

If you are seeking compensation, you will need to get independent legal advice.

The GDC's Prosecution Policy sets out the approach adopted by the GDC when considering an allegation of illegal practice.

If the GDC prosecutes a case of illegal practice, this is separate from any civil claim for compensation and GDC 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, if it is appropriate to do so, but any decision to award compensation is entirely a matter for the court hearing the case and it cannot be guaranteed.

I made a complaint about an individual offering illegal dental treatment, but I have not heard back. Can I confirm that you are investigating them? What action has been taken?

The role of the illegal practice team of the GDC is to consider allegations of illegal practice that are reported to us. Rest assured that every allegation submitted to the Illegal Practice team is reviewed, assessed and actioned appropriately in line with our Prosecution Policy.

As we are dealing with investigations of criminal offending, it is vital that we keep those investigations confidential in order to ensure that we can effectively discharge our function in this area. We will therefore only contact you should we require further information and we do not routinely provide updates as to the progress of our investigations as doing so can put them at risk.​