Today, 1st July, marks a momentous day in the history of dentistry in the UK as the College of General Dentistry officially opened in a ceremony at the Barber Surgeons Hall. Dentistry now has its own, independent College. The new College of General Dentistry embraces the whole dental team, recognising the invaluable contribution made by every member of the dental profession in delivering high quality oral health care for patients and the wider community.

(L to R:) Ian Mills, Immediate Past Dean, FGDP(UK); Janet Clarke MBE, Chair of Trustees of the College; Abhi Pal, President; Prof Nairn Wilson CBE, Honorary Founding President; Simon Thornton-Wood, Lead Executive.

As Dr Abhi Pal takes office as the first elected President of the College, he said of the historic day:

“The College of General Dentistry looks forward to providing new leadership, much-needed career pathways, fit-for-purpose standards and cutting edge, evidence-based guidelines with much more besides. Going forward we intend to build on the fabulous legacy provided by the FGDP and to further raise the standing and status of dentistry as an important, integral, never-to-be-forgotten element of health and social care. The College considers oral health to be fundamental to general health and wellbeing at all ages.”

The College officially launched, COVID compliant, at the Barber Surgeons Hall and is ready to welcome all oral healthcare professionals into its membership.

The move to an independent college for dentistry will finally realise the long-held ambition of those who founded the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) in 1992. It was their foresight, hard work and commitment to general dental practice which allowed them to establish FGDP(UK) driven by the vision that one day dentistry would have a Royal College. The new independent College is not quite at the stage of applying for a Royal Charter, but the move to an independent College of General Dentistry is a giant step closer to that ambition.

The College will set standards and provide guidance, encouraging and recognising continuing professional development. And importantly, it will provide a unified collegiate voice for all oral healthcare professionals.

Nairn Wilson, Honorary Founding President, said of the historic day:

“Today realised a long-held ambition. The Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) (FGDP) formed in 1991, and incorporated the The College of General Dental Practitioners (UK) (CGDP).  Today’s milestone is reached thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer time, support from many individuals and organisations, generous donations and unswerving perseverance and determination; we can now officially open the doors of The College of General Dentistry. The formation of the College is so important because, at long last, dentistry will no longer be the exception amongst key healthcare professions in not having its own college, with all the associated benefits.”

Engagement in the College, both individually and collectively, has the potential to positively transform the standing and status of every member of the team, both in general healthcare and in the eyes of the public. The College, with a membership open to all GDC registrants (past and present), together with suitably qualified colleagues from across the rest of the world, is for all members of the dental team to benefit and contribute to a new, rewarding future for dentistry. Our members will be able to access a rich library of online CPD, courtesy of our partners ProDental. They will also be able to access a programme of webinars through the year tailored for the College’s membership.