Temporary registration

Temporary registration allows dentists who are not eligible for full registration to practise dentistry in the UK if they have had the offer of a supervised post for training, teaching, or research purposes only, for a limited period.

An overseas qualified dentist can apply for temporary registration in specific approved posts if they hold a dental qualification from a university which is recognised by ENIC for the purposes of temporary registration and the overseas registration examination (ORE).

Please note that your eligibility for certain training posts is dependent upon your UK Border Agency visa. If you require further information on the new immigration legislation, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration.

Find out more about the number of temporary registrations provided for approved posts, including the qualifications and experience used for temporary registration. 


A direction is the post a dentist will work in whilst they have temporary registration. A dentist with temporary registration is registered under specific restrictions. These restrictions allow dentists to hold valid registration only for specific posts and in the hospital(s) or institution(s) listed in the direction and for a specified time. If a dentist would like to continue in a post after the end of a direction, they need to make an application to the GDC for renewal. Directions are granted on the basis of the following:

  • confirmation by medical staffing certifying that the applicant is competent to practise in the specific approved post they have offered to employ them in during the relevant direction dates, and
  • the confirmation by a supervising consultant certifying that there will be a registered dentist on the premises able to give adequate supervision in the hospital(s) or institution(s) at all times when the dentist is practising during the relevant direction dates.

As for all GDC registrants, temporary registration allows registrants to practise dentistry only. Regardless of the extent of their overseas training, temporary registrants must only practise dentistry in their scope of practice and in line with the specific restrictions in their direction. We remind temporary registrants and any person involved in arrangements for approved posts that in the UK, oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) is a medical specialty. While temporary registrants may take up approved posts in OMFS departments, any activity undertaken in such posts must be appropriate to the training and scope of an oral surgeon. 


Dentists with temporary registration can only practise under the supervision of a GDC registered consultant.

Location of posts

Temporary registration is granted for approved posts in NHS hospitals, dental schools and other approved institutions. It is not currently granted for work in general or private practice.

Duration of temporary registration

Temporary registration directions are granted for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 365 days at a time. Temporary registration may be renewed, by means of applying, for up to a maximum of 1826 days (five years)

Temporary registration is only granted for the purposes of supervised training, teaching or research purposes in the UK. Completion of the maximum period of temporary registration does not lead to full registration, which is necessary for the practice of dentistry in the UK. To obtain full registration you must either hold a recognised qualification from the UK, meet the criteria set down under EEA regulations or pass the ORE.


When you first apply for temporary registration there is an associated registration application fee.

Once your application has been processed and is considered complete, you will need to pay the temporary registration fee. This fee is the dentist annual retention fee (ARF) proportionate to the length of your direction. Therefore you pay for the days you hold temporary registration. 

Standards Guidance

All registrants are expected to abide by our standards, Standards for the Dental Team.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Temporary registrants must undertake at least 20 hours of CPD during each CPD year. You will be asked to declare your CPD statement upon completion of a year's worth of direction. This will be required before the next direction is granted. You must meet all other requirements as outlined in our continuing professional development guidance.