For practice owners


Registration with General Dental Council

All dentists who wish to practice dentistry in the United Kingdom have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). The GDC is the regulatory body for the dental profession in the UK. Practising dentistry in the UK without GDC registration is illegal.

There are two types of GDC registration:

•  Full registration (usually just called 'registration'). This allows you to practise dentistry without supervision.

•  Temporary registration which allows to practise dentistry only in supervised posts for training, teaching, or research purposes, and only for a limited period of time.

You can apply for full registration with the GDC if:

• You are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you qualified as a dentist in the EEA or Switzerland, OR

• You are a national of the EEA or Switzerland (or entitled to be treated as such) who qualified as a dentist outside the EEA or Switzerland, OR

• You are married to an EEA national (other than a British national) or Swiss national who is pursuing an activity as an employed or self-employed person in the UK, and have qualified as a dentist in an EEA State or Switzerland, OR

• You hold one of the following qualifications:

– BChD MEDUNSA, BDS Malaya – awarded between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2000

– BChD Western Cape – awarded before 31 December 1997

– Awarded before 1 January 2001: BDS Adelaide, BDSc Melbourne, BDSc Queensland, BDS Sydney, BDSc Western Australia, BChD Pretoria, BChD Stellenbosch, BDS Witwatersrand, BDS New Zealand, BDS Otago, BDS Hong Kong, BDS Singapore, OR

• You qualified as a dentist overseas and have passed The Overseas Registration Examination (ORE). For more information about The ORE please click here.

To find out more about the GDC registration please visit the GDC website: . You will be able to find your own route to registration.

Generally, European dentists who qualified in the EEA qualify for automatic registration with the GDC. A few countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have some restrictions. Dentists from these countries should have at least three consecutive years of experience as a dentist in the last five years (the 3 in 5 rule). The work experience does not necessarily have to be gained in the country in which you qualified as a dentist. It can be in any one EEA State but it should be in one country (for example 2 years in Poland and 1 year in Germany would not qualify you for automatic registration).This rule does not apply to dentists who started their dental studies on or after 01 May 2004.

Dentists who do not qualify for automatic recognition of their diploma may be eligible to apply for an assessment of their knowledge, skills and qualifications.

If you qualify for automatic registration you should send your application, together with supporting documents, to:

Registration Team (New Applications)
General Dental Council 
2nd Floor
37 Wimpole Street
United Kingdom

You can download the application from here: GDC Application

The supporting documents are usually:

• a certified copy of your passport

• a certified copy of your dental degree/diploma

• an original certificate of good standing

• a certified copy of a name change (if documents bear different names), for example a mariage certificate

• an original certificate of EEA compliance (Dental Directive 78\687\EEC)

• translations of documents (that are in a language other than English)

From November 2010 payments for new registrations can be made by a UK drawn Cheques / Postal Orders or online. Online payment can be made after an application has been processed - GDC would then email login details to the email address provided by an applicant so he can make a payment online using a debit/credit card.

The annual registration fee for dentists is £438 for 2010 and will rise to £576 for 2011. The fee you pay depends on the month you submit your application to the GDC. For example, if you submit your application in January 2011 you need to pay a fee of £576. If you apply in May 2011 you will need to pay £385. This will cover the registration up to 31/12/2011. Click here for more information on GDC fees. Applications made in November and December require a payment for the full upcoming year as well.

Please note that if you are going to work as a self employed dentist you should be able to deduct the cost of registering with the GDC and any other costs associated with registration in your tax calculation.

Below you can download detailed information for dentists qualified from a few selected EEA countries:

Poland     Germany     Romania     Hungary     Lithuania     Portugal

Guide for Polish Graduates


Registering as a Specialist

If you are a dental specialist in one of the accession states and wish to apply to join the GDC dental specialist lists please e-mail for more information. You may also email us and we will be able to advise you. Please note that in order to apply to join the specialist lists you must first be registered as a dentist with the GDC.


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