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A guide to dentistry in the UK
The UK has some of the world's longest established medical and dental organizations. It has played a central role in shaping the ethical and scientific face of modern dental practice. The practice and structure of the profession in Britain serve as a model for many countries' dental profession.
Benefits of British Dentistry
Regular checkups are a vital part of good oral healthcare and a local dentist is by far the best choice. A trusting relationship with your local dentist has emmense benefits: dental emergencies can be dealt with by a healthcare professional who knows your medical history inside out. Even for more expensive treatments the value of this close working knowledge can far outweigh price considerations, ensuring an ongoing beneficial, oral regimen.
Dentists in the UK - Qualifications
A 5 year dental curriculum can be followed at any of UK's 13 dental schools. Successful graduates receive a Bachelor of Dental Science degree (BDS).
There are a large number of specialties that can be followed following standard dental practice including: Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Periodontics and Endodontics.
Dentists in the UK - Patient Rights
The General Dental Council regulates the dental profession in the UK.
It keeps an up-to-date register of dental professionals: dentists, dental nurses, clinical dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental technicians, dental therapists, and orthodontic therapists.
The British Dental Association is the primary representative organization for dentists in the UK.
The General Dental Council publishes ethical guidelines for the profession. These cover a dentists duty to continually update their skills, promote dental health, their duty to the profession and their patients as well as the proper manner in which to advertise their services and how to charge for treatment. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in censure, suspension or removal of the right to practice.
Mandatory, continuing education was introduced in 2001. 250 hours of training and seminars must be completed every 5 years to maintain the right to practice dentistry in the UK.
There is a comprehensive system for dealing with complaints. The Dental Complaints Service (DCS) is the primary mechanism for patient complaints. Questions about a particular dentist's fitness to practice may be handled by the
Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) and judged against the Fitness to Practise Procedures (FTP). These are all under the auspices of the General Dental Council.
The UK has an Information Commissioner's Office to deal with the protection of and access to personal data. These give advice and information on the implications to individuals of the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
Dentists in the UK:
General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street,
Tel: +44 (0)84 5222 4141
Fax: +44 (0)20 7224 3294
Ethical guidelines of the GDC
British Dental Association
The Information Commissioner's Office
Dental Practice Board for England and Wales: http://www.dpb.nhs.uk
NHS dentist advice guide: www.adviceguide.org.uk/h_nhs_dental_treatment.pdf
Postgraduate and Specialty training: www.rcseng.ac.uk/ (Maintained by the Royal College of Surgeons)
Healthcare Commission: www.healthcarecommission.org.uk
World Dental Federation on the UK (including a list of all UK dental schools): www.fdiworldental.org/
Association of Dental Implantology: www.adi.org.uk
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