Anybody who wants to work in the UK as a dentist or dental care professional must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).

By law, the following groups of professionals have to be registered with the General Dental Council to work in the UK:

  • Dentists
  • Clinical dental technicians
  • Dental hygienists
  • Dental nurses
  • Dental technicians
  • Dental therapists
  • Orthodontic therapists

To confirm whether a dental professional is registered with the GDC and able to practise in the UK, you can search the register here.

Section 38 of The Dentists Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for a person who is not a registered dentist or a registered dental care professional to practise dentistry, or hold themselves out whether directly or by implication as practising or as being prepared to practise dentistry.

If you would like to report someone you believe to be practising illegally you can do so via this link.

Thinking of getting your teeth whitened?

Teeth Whitening

The General Dental Council, the organisation that regulates dental professionals in the UK, has decided that teeth whitening is a form of dentistry. This means that you should only have your teeth whitened by a dentist or another dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.

Some beauty salons offer teeth whitening, but this is illegal if there’s no dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.

If you are thinking of getting your teeth whitened then it is advisable that you visit the GDC page here.