Dentists Act 1957

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on May 23, 2024.


The Dentists Act 1957 is a key piece of legislation in the UK that regulates the dental profession, ensuring high standards of practice and safeguarding public health. 

What is the Dentists Act 1957?

The primary purpose of the Dentists Act 1957 is to protect public health and safety by ensuring that dental services are provided by qualified and competent professionals.

The Act created the General Dental Council (GDC), the regulatory body responsible for overseeing dental professionals in the UK. The GDC maintains the register of dentists and dental care professionals and sets educational and professional standards.

The GDC is authorised by the Act to investigate allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence, or health issues that could impair a dental professional’s ability to practice safely. Disciplinary actions can include warnings, practice conditions, suspension, or removal from the register.

Furthermore, the Act requires the GDC to approve and oversee dental education and training programs. This ensures that dental professionals receive appropriate education and are competent to provide safe and effective care.

The Act also focusses on the importance of ongoing professional development. Dental professionals are required to engage in additional learning and training to keep their knowledge and skills current, which helps maintain high standards in dental care.

The Act has been amended over time to adapt to changes in the dental profession and healthcare landscape, making sure it is relevant and effective.

Example of the Dentists Act 1957

If a dentist, Dr. Jones, is found to be practicing without proper qualifications, the GDC, authorised by the Act, can investigate and take action. This could result in Dr. Jones being removed from the register, and as a result it prevents him from practicing and ensure public safety. This exemplifies the Act’s role in maintaining high standards and protecting patients.

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