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What we do

The General Dental Council (GDC) is the UK-wide statutory regulator of around 110,000 members of the dental team.

Our primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in dental services. To achieve this, we register qualified dental professionals, set standards for the dental team, investigate complaints about dental professionals' fitness to practise, and work to ensure the quality of dental education.

Shifting the balance
Dentist with tools

The Dentists Act 1984 provides the legislative framework for our work. It currently gives us powers to:

  • grant registration only to those dental professionals who meet our requirements on education and training, health and good character. Only those who are registered with us can practise dentistry in the UK
  • set standards for providers of dental education and training in the UK
  • set standards of conduct, performance and ethics for the dental team
  • investigate complaints against dental professionals and where appropriate take action through our fitness to practise process
  • require dental professionals to keep their skills up to date through our continuing professional development requirements.

Shifting the balance

We want the system of dental regulation to be collaborative, where issues that arise are dealt with in the right place and delivers the right outcomes for patients and the public at the right cost.

More about Shifting the balance

The registers

We have a legal duty under the Dentists Act to publish our registers and we do this by providing a complete copy online. It is provided free of charge and anyone can search the register.

More about the registers

Illegal practice

It is a criminal offence for a person who is not a registered dentist or a registered dental care professional to practise dentistry.

More about illegal practice

Fitness to practise

If there are concerns that shortcomings in a dental professional’s conduct or competence that are so great as to put patients at serious risk, or seriously damage public confidence in dentistry, we will investigate.

More about Fitness to practise

Research

We use a range of research and consultation methods to produce robust evidence and to reach as wide and diverse audience as possible.

Read our research

Consultations and responses

Details of any consultations that we are currently running, consultation outcomes, details of closed consultations, and our consultation responses.

More about consultations and responses