General Dental Council
The General Dental Council (GDC) is a United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 organisation which regulates all dental
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

 professionals in the country. Established in 1956 by an amendment to the Dentists Act 1948, now updated in the Dentists Act 1984
Dentists Act 1984
The Dentists Act 1984 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom regulating dentistry. In particular the function of the General Dental Council, dental bodies corporate etc....

, it keeps an up-to-date register of all qualified dentists and other dental care professionals such as: dental hygienists
Dental hygienist
thumb|right|300px|Dental hygienist holding a scalerA dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Local dental regulations determine the scope of practice of dental hygienists...

, dental therapists
Dental therapist
A dental therapist receives specialized training in treating children's teeth and oral hygiene. Local dental regulations determine the duties therapists are able to perform...

, dental nurses
Dental nurse
Dental nurses work as part of a dental team in a variety of clinical and non clinical settings. The term Dental nurse has a defined meaning within the UK...

, dental technicians and clinical dental technicians. It aims to protect the general public from unqualified dental professionals.

The General Dental Council’s mission statement is:
  • To protect patients
  • To promote confidence in dental professionals
  • To be at the forefront of health care regulation

The GDC is tasked with ensuring that all dental professionals maintain up to date knowledge, controlling the quality of dental education in the country, ensuring a proper quality of care is given to the patients, and helping any patient who has questions or complaints. It is meant to act as a bridge of communication between the government, public and the dental professionals.


The Council was originally set up in 1956 with 50 members but is now a smaller, restructured Council. On 1 October 2009, following a recruitment process managed by the Appointments Commission, the new Council took office. The Council has 24 members and a balance of 12 lay and 12 professional

On 30 September 2009, after six and a half years in office, Hew Mathewson stepped down as President of the Council and became its first Chair on 1 October 2009, on an interim basis. Alison Lockyer was elected from within the membership of the new Council and appointed Chair of the GDC Council, taking office on 1 January 2010.

Overseas Registration Exam

The Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) is administered by the GDC, and is designed to test the knowledge, skills and professionalism of candidates against the standard expected of graduate dentists on first registration with the General Dental Council (GDC). This means that UK graduates and overseas dentists are expected to have the same basic level of knowledge and skills.

The ORE has two parts which must be taken – and passed – in order. The purpose of Part 1 is to test the candidates’ application of knowledge to clinical practice and Part 2 is designed for candidates to demonstrate practical clinical skills.

External links

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