Fostering excellence in oral healthcare
Setting standards to enhance quality, contemporary care
Strengthening and supporting the whole dental team
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.
Time for a new College
The UK was well served in dentistry through the twentieth century, with remarkable improvements in oral health. But problems remain; for example: health inequalities, access to care, increasing patient expectations, and difficulty engaging many individuals with their own oral healthcare.
Advances in knowledge and understanding and the introduction of new technologies, coupled with changes in attitude and awareness continue to provide significant improvements, but there is still a long way to go to achieve the provision of preventatively oriented, patient-centred, minimal intervention care.
The dental team can rise to this challenge – given the leadership and support the College intends to provide, working with others. It is time for the new College to embark on that mission.
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 oral healthcare 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 holistic oral healthcare service delivery. This approach is essential if dentistry is to meet the future needs and expectations of patients in a way that is sustainable.
FGDP(UK) has a well established membership amongst the UK community of dentists working in primary care. The community of 65,000 associated professionals, including dental therapists and hygienists, clinical dental technologists, dental nurses and other members of the dental team are vital for 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 huge challenges of unmet oral healthcare needs worldwide, place an obligation on bodies like the new College to contribute to finding global solutions. We will play our part in the sharing of knowledge and skills to address those challenges.
The dental profession in the UK, including FGDP(UK), has a rich history of international influence and attainment. The new College intends to build on this history as part of its mission – a great deal has been achieved, but much remains to be done.
Career pathways for dental professionals
Professional career pathways are a key element of the purpose of the new College. Members of the team lack a structure for their career development, denying them the opportunity to realise their potential in the care of 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 healthcare 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 dentistry and 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.
Developing a College for the 21st Century:
Nurturing trust, excellence and professionalism in general dentistry
A UK-wide community of practice, deeply committed to patients’ interests
Providing authoritative thought leadership in achieving holistic oral healthcare for all
Team-oriented, inclusive and supportive
Defining career pathways that cultivate a passion for lifelong learning
Agile and sustainable; a trusted, forward-looking, authoritative body in healthcare
Fostering goodwill, professionalism and the achievement of career goals