The General Dental Council

The General Dental Council (GDC) is the main body which protects patients. It sets out specific guidelines on what is acceptable treatment. The most recent guidelines were published by the General Dental Council in May 2005 in which the role of the GDC is defined as 'protecting patients and regulating the dental team'.

In brief the guidelines (1) set out the following principles of practice and dentistry:

  1. Putting patients' interests first and acting to protect them;  
  2. Respecting patients' dignity and choices;  
  3. Protecting the confidentiality of patients’ information;  
  4. Co-operating with other members of the dental team and other healthcare colleagues in the interest of patients;
  5. Maintaining professional knowledge and competence; and 
  6. Being trustworthy

However there are no specific guidelines defining what is an acceptable standard of care. This has led to great criticism and has also posed a problem for defining what exactly is accepted as good practice.

(1) General Dental Council standard guidance - Standards for Dental Professionals (May 2005)

To Contact the General Dental Council:

Phone:  +44 (0) 20 7167 6000


General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street

Or visit their website: