A College serving public and patient interest in oral health
engaging the whole dental team
and providing leadership in professionalism
The College of General Dentistry is being established in the UK with a vision of leadership in the professional team — to foster excellence and confidence in oral healthcare, for all.
Developing a College for the 21st Century:
- Nurturing excellence in practice, with integrity
- A community of practice, deeply committed to patients’ interests
- Providing authoritative thought leadership in holistic oral healthcare
- Team-oriented and inclusive
- Defining career pathways that cultivate a passion for learning
- Agile and commercially aware; a trustworthy player in the market
- Led by and fostering goodwill across the profession
Time for a new College
The UK has been well served in dentistry through the twentieth century, with oral health being systematically transformed across the nation for the better. But today, those gains cannot be taken for granted and new challenges face the profession: in health inequalities and distribution of disease; funding of NHS care; increasing patient expectations; complexity of care and advances in technology.
Advances in knowledge and understanding, coupled with changes in attitude have led to significant improvements in the quality of care provided for patients in the UK. But dentistry faces changing expectations of increasingly discerning patients, with implications that go beyond the simply aesthetic.
We believe the professional team can rise to these expectations – and the implications for ethical, person-centred practice – with the right leadership. The College of General Dentistry will provide the opportunity for the professions to play their full part in addressing these challenges.
Building on strong foundations
Our work will build on the achievements of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), which has had a substantial impact in setting standards for dentistry while operating under the umbrella of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This work will continue with FGDP (UK) forming the first building block of the College of General Dentistry.
The place of general practice dentistry – the bedrock of an effective dental system – must be nurtured and celebrated. We will do this by fostering a strong and trusted professional community of practice, serving patients and the public. We will establish evidence-based guidance and standards for dentistry, building on what FGDP(UK) has already achieved, and promote high quality practice through education and training, career development and lifelong learning for dental professionals.
Professional membership at its heart
The College of General Dentistry aims to take a distinct approach to its role, fully embracing the dental team as a whole in its membership and cultivating the best in a team-based approach to healthcare service delivery. That approach is essential if we are to continue delivering for our patients, meeting their needs and expectations, in a way that is sustainable.
FGDP(UK) has established a membership of over 4000 dentists in a UK community approaching 40,000. The community of 65,000 associated professionals, including dental nurses and hygienists, are vital to the future of dental service provision. The new College aims to attract a substantially greater number to its membership with a compelling proposition which will support them in their service to patients and their career development. Elevating the standing of general dentistry is a step change in ambition for the profession, demanding a new institution for it to be fulfilled.
The challenges of oral healthcare worldwide place an obligation on us to play our part in finding global solutions.
The dental profession in the UK has benefitted in many ways from its engagement with peers around the world, and we aim to do substantially more; the challenges of oral healthcare worldwide place an obligation on us to play our part in finding global solutions. The new College will be a UK-based organisation but will have a global perspective on its mission, building on what has previously been achieved by FGDP(UK) over the last twenty seven years.
Career pathways for dental professionals
The professional career pathway lies at the heart of the proposition of the new College. Members of the team in general practice lack a structured basis for the development of their skills and careers, and the associated opportunity to convey the talent and experience that they bring to their patients.
The portfolio of qualifications that is currently offered by FGDP(UK) will be expanded upon and designed to offer the structured progression that is needed.
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 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.
The intended purpose of the College will be:
- To serve the public and patients by cultivating excellence in oral healthcare, thereby contributing to everyone’s wellbeing.
- To achieve this by establishing evidence-based guidance and standards for dentistry, embedded within a strong professional community of practice.
- To foster quality in practice for dental professionals through their education and training, career development and lifelong learning.
The College will fulfil the aspirations of general dentistry to achieve professional standing consistent with other and equivalent healthcare and medical professions. In the course of our discussions about our future, we have been struck by the surprise amongst those outside dentistry, that no independent College currently exists to meet that need.