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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


Principle Six

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


Frequently asked questions

​​We do not specify what types of impressions you can take. As a DCP you are able to take impressions to the prescription of a dentist (where relevant) as long as you are fully trained and competent.

Yes. As long as you are trained, competent and indemnified, a registered dental care professional can carry out intra-oral scanning on a patient.

However, it remains the role of the dentist (or prescribing clinician) to prescribe and design the dental appliance being made.

​Yes. When a registrant provides a treatment plan for a patient, the patient may take the treatment plan to another dental professional who can, within their skills and the limits of the plan, provide treatment and make any further appropriate referrals.

You can act as a dental nurse provided that you:

  • have reached an appropriate point in your own training;
  • satisfy the health and vaccination requirements specified for a student/trainee dental nurse;
  • have undertaken at least the equivalent of the trainee dental nurse’s induction; and:
  • work under the supervision of an appropriate named registrant, who will need to take responsibility for ensuring that you are a current student and for determining that you have reached an appropriate level in your training.

Yes, in certain circumstances: Suitably qualified and registered healthcare professionals may take whatever action is necessary to deal with dental emergencies, such as stitching wounds, removing debris from the mouth or re-implanting an avulsed tooth. We would regard such treatment as a ‘medical task’ when provided in a medical context such as an Accident and Emergency department and therefore within the terms of the Dentists Act.

A medical procedure (whether or not it is carried out in an emergency) might also require the performance of a task which in other circumstances would constitute the practice of dentistry, such as the removal of teeth as part of an osteotomy carried out by a surgeon.

​Training can consist of either going on a course or receiving in-house training. However, it is up to you to be sure that you are competent and to be able to demonstrate why you believe that to be the case.

A course will usually provide some sort of certificate if you complete it successfully whereas in-house training will not. So, if you learn a new skill in-house, it is important to keep a log. This log is a record of your training which illustrates your competency if you ever need to justify yourself to the GDC.

​We expect the trainee to begin their programme of study within two years of commencing employment.

Once on the programme of study, they must normally achieve their award or qualification and register with the GDC within the normal duration of the course or up to one year thereafter.

​No, as long as you are trained, competent and indemnified to carry out this duty, it is not a requirement that you be assisted by another member of the dental team.

​Standard 6.2 states that you must be appropriately supported when treating patients. 6.2.1 we make clear that you must not provide treatment if you feel that the circumstances make it unsafe for patients and this is our primary concern. 6.2.2 states that you should work with another appropriately trained member of the dental team at all times when treating patients, except in the particular circumstances outlined in the Standards for the Dental Team.

It is not acceptable for dental professionals to be working alone on the premises when they are treating patients. Ideally, we would want all members of the dental team to have another member of the dental team with them in the same room, when they are treating patients.

However, if in their professional judgement, they decide that having another member of the dental team on the premises who is able to offer them support if needed, complies with the requirement to ‘work with’ an appropriately trained team member and does not put patients at risk, and they therefore choose to work under this arrangement, they must be able to justify their decision.

​​You should make sure that all team members who need to be are registered with the GDC or another healthcare regulator or that they are in training for registration with the GDC or other healthcare regulator.

You should also make sure that all team members who are registrants are appropriately indemnified for the work they do.

All team members including those not registered with the GDC, should have:

  • a proper induction when they first join the team;
  • performance management , including regular appraisals;
  • opportunities to learn and develop;
  • a hygienic and safe working environment;
  • a work environment that is not discriminatory;
  • opportunities to provide feedback; and
  • a way to raise concerns.

​​If you are providing treatment in a care or domiciliary setting you should be supported by a GDC registrant or an appropriately trained care professional.

Because medical emergencies can happen at any time, you must make sure that there is at least one other person available within the working environment to deal with medical emergencies when you are treating patients.

​No. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ are unavoidable circumstances which are not routine and could not have been foreseen, such as illness. Absences due to leave or training are not exceptional circumstances.

​If you are going to employ someone to work as a trainee nurse or technician, you should:

  • be sure that the person is capable of enrolling on a course recognised for registration;
  • allow the trainee to enrol on a recognised programme, and meet the obligations that are required of it.
  • ensure the trainee receives a formal, structured induction, including training regarding patient safety and confidentiality; infection control; the protection of vulnerable children and adults; and how to deal with medical emergencies, before undertaking any duties.
  • ensure the trainee does not undertake any exposure prone procedures until they have the appropriate vaccinations (e.g. Hepatitis B) as required to practise.
  • ensure a named GDC supervising registrant takes full responsibility for providing direct supervision of the individual trainee. As training progresses, supervision may be delegated (if appropriate) to other GDC registrants by the named supervising registrant will continue to be accountable overall for the trainee.

​​​The GDC defines student/trainee dental nurses or technicians as either:

  • studying on a recognised programme that leads directly to GDC registration; or
  • employed and enrolled or waiting to start on a recognised programme that will lead to GDC registration.

​The best way to approach the concept of ‘trained and competent is to ask yourself: ‘If a complaint was made against me, how can I justify that I am trained and competent to carry out this particular additional skill?’

If you cannot confidently provide evidence to demonstrate that you are trained and competent, you need to think about whether you require more training or whether you could find some way to demonstrate your competence.

​A process or laboratory worker is a person who carries out one or more particular parts of the laboratory manufacturing process but does not see it through from beginning to endand they do not sign off work leaving the laboratory.

An ‘appropriately trained’ dental member is an individual who is either registered with the GDC or is ‘in-training’ for a qualification leading to registration with the GDC.

​A dental technician can carry out the entire manufacturing process from start to finish. They can review cases coming into the laboratory to decide how they should be progressed and they can take responsibility for the quality and safety of devices before they leave the laboratory. As registrants, dental technicians can be held accountable by the GDC if concerns are raised. A process or laboratory worker carries out one or more particular parts of the manufacturing process but does not see it through from beginning to end.

The supervising GDC registrant will be responsible for the process or laboratory worker and the work they have undertaken.

​Process and laboratory workers do not need to register with the GDC as they have limited duties and are working under the supervision of a registered dental technician or clinical dental technician.