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Principle One

Put patient's interests first


Principle Two

Communicate effectively with patients


Principle Three

Obtain valid consent


Principle Four

Maintain and protect patients' information


Principle Five

Have a clear and effective complaints procedure


Principle Six

Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests


Principle Seven

Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills


Principle Eight

Raise concerns if patients are at risk


Principle Nine

Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients' confidence in you and the dental profession


Frequently asked questions

​​If you have registered with the GDC after taking the ORE then you will already have taken a particular test to demonstrate your fluency in English.

If you are an EU registrant, you do not have to take any particular test but you must be sure that you have a sufficient level of fluency in both written and spoken English to communicate effectively with patients, their relatives, your dental team and other healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom.

​No - this is about new patients or those who may not remember you and is not necessary if the patient already knows who you are and how you will be involved in their care.

It is your responsibility to recognise patients’ communication difficulties and you should try to meet each patient’s communication needs where possible. You could suggest the patient brings a friend or family member to their appointment to act as an interpreter, however there may be times when this is not the best or most appropriate option – you will need to use your professional judgement. If this is not an option, and there is no one in your practice who is able to act as an interpreter, you would need to consider paying for an interpreter.

No, we do not say that you must provide patients with guarantees. What you should do is tell your patients whether the treatment is guaranteed. If you choose to provide guarantees, tell your patients exactly what the guarantee covers and tell them about any exclusions that apply. You should also make clear any circumstances under which treatment is not guaranteed (for example, that the guarantee would not apply if a lack of care on their part was causing repeated problems).

The Standards do not require all registrants who practise in Wales to be able to speak Welsh. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that your patient understands all of the information they need in order to make informed decisions, and where possible, you should try to meet each patient’s communication needs. The Standards also state that you must find out about laws and regulations that affect your work and follow them.

As the Welsh language has official status in law, you must find out and adhere to relevant legislation regarding providing services in Welsh, such as the Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Welsh Language Measure 2011. The document More than just words developed by the Welsh Government also provides a good foundation to help organisations to understand why it’s important to provide services in line with the needs of Welsh speakers.

For more information about how you can help meet the needs of Welsh language speakers, see the Language as a clinical tool leaflet produced by the Welsh Language Board.

Language as a clinical tool

​It is your responsibility to recognise patients’ communication difficulties and you should try to meet each patient’s communication needs where possible. However, this does not necessarily mean you would need to install a heating loop for those patients who wear hearing aids – this is an example of how you might meet the needs of patients with hearing difficulties.

Guidance 2.3.7 sets out what information must be included as part of a treatment plan:

  • the proposed treatment;
  • a realistic indication of the cost;
  • whether the treatment is being provided under the NHS (or equivalent health service) or privately (if mixed, the treatment plan should clearly indicate which elements are being provided under which arrangement).

​We recognise that pricing is not always straightforward and that is why we require a simple list of basic items such as a consultation or a bitewing radiograph to give patients an idea of costs. Items which can vary in cost such as multi-surface fillings or a crown can be shown with a price range rather than having to include every pricing option.

Case Studies for principle 2