About the College

We are the first and only membership College wholly focused on the future of primary care dentistry.

We serve the public and patient interests in oral health care and provide a professional home for all members of the dental team. We set standards for the profession, define career pathways, and lead thought for the future of dentistry.

As we advance into the new century, new challenges face the profession in health inequalities and distribution of disease, funding of NHS care and increasing patient expectations, complexity of care and advances in technology. As the only membership organisation dedicated to general dentistry, we provide the opportunity for the profession to play its full part in addressing these challenges, with representation on committees and working groups across the UK developing national dental and oral health policy.

Now more than ever is the time for the profession to have a cohesive voice.”

Abhi Pal, Immediate Past President of the College

Professional membership at our heart

As well as being the only membership College for primary care dentistry, we are also the only medical College across healthcare that welcomes all members of the team: hygienists, therapists, dental nurses, technicians as well as dentists. We believe patients’ interests are best served through a team-based approach to healthcare service delivery and we nurture a passion for learning and development throughout the oral health care team.

We have a deep understanding of the needs of our members because our organisation is led by our members. Elected representatives from our membership form the College Council, which represents the regions around the UK and the different dental professions we serve, and steers the direction and objectives of the College. Our growing number of Affiliated Groups around the UK offer members professional development events and the opportunity to connect with colleagues, on a regional level.

A focus on professional and career development

We have developed Career Pathways for the whole dental team. For the first time, dentistry and its associated specialties have academic standards and structured career pathways to support professional progression, providing a structure for the development of skills and careers and an opportunity to convey talent and experience.  

Our Register of Members and Fellows, provides members with a platform that allows them to highlight their relevant postgraduate qualifications, enhancing their professional recognition and detailing their areas of special interest.

And our respected, peer-reviewed quarterly publication, Primary Dental Journal, translates current evidence into best practice, providing an essential resource for dental teams throughout primary dental care.

“Our career pathway helps you see where you can go and the skills you need to help you progress….it’s about not only our careers but most importantly our patients as well.”

Roshni Karia, President of the College

Building on strong foundations

Our work builds on the achievements of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK, (FGDP UK) which has had a substantial impact in setting standards for the profession while operating under the umbrella of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England). In 2021, FGDP transferred to the College of General Dentistry, realising the ultimate ambition of its founding members to establish an independent College for general dental practice. 

We continue to be the publisher of authoritative guidance and standards documents, originally published by the FGDP(UK), covering areas such as Clinical Examination and Record-keeping, Dental Radiography, Standards in Dentistry, Research in Primary Dental Care, and Training in Implant Dentistry. And we have recently published Mentoring in Implant Dentistry, the first sole-published guidance in our planned portfolio.

International reach

The College is a UK-based organisation with a global perspective. The dental profession in the UK has benefitted in many ways from its engagement with peers around the world, and we want to do substantially more; the challenges of oral healthcare worldwide place an obligation on us to play our part in finding global solutions.

Royal Charter

We aim to pursue a Royal Charter, elevating the standing of general dentistry alongside its medical peers, and appealing to the culture of service in society that underpins the very best in healthcare professionalism. We have the support of the key agencies and institutions across healthcare to make our case, and we are convinced that this is the time for such an institution to emerge.

“We need to have this missing piece – our own independent Royal College, setting standards, creating and maintaining career pathways, and having dentistry central in the thinking of mainstream healthcare.”

Professor Sir Nairn Wilson, Honorary Founding President of the College

To be part of our proud community of dedicated dental professionals, and help promote the standing of primary care dentistry within general healthcare, join us today.