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Amid the NHS shortage crisis, the government is considering eliminating the exam for foreign dentists.

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To address the severe lack of NHS dentists, the government is considering a ground-breaking proposal that would remove the need for foreign dentists to pass exams to verify their training and qualifications before they can work in the UK.

This important initiative seeks to attract more dentists to the NHS and speed up the recruiting process, subject to a three-month consultation period.

The idea, which is a component of the £200 million NHS Dental Recovery Plan for England that was unveiled earlier this month, also calls for the deployment of “dental vans” to underprivileged regions and the introduction of incentives like guidance programs for new parents, in addition to greater pay for NHS work.

Plans also entail providing bonuses of £20,000 to dentists working in impoverished areas, with the ultimate objective of increasing the number of appointments by 2.5 million in the upcoming year.

Currently, in order to start practicing dentistry in the UK, foreign dentists must pass an exam. But under the proposed amendments, the General Dental Council (GDC) might have the authority to temporarily register these dentists without requiring them to pass a necessary exam.

Executive director of strategy at the GDC Stefan Czerniawski pledged to work with stakeholders in the dentistry industry and stressed the importance of moving quickly without sacrificing implementation rigor.

Eddie Crouch, the chairman of the British Dental Association (BDA), responded by warning that the government should concentrate on complete solutions because the proposed remedies do not address the root causes of the problems in the NHS dental system.

30% of dentists on the GDC register got their qualifications outside of the United Kingdom, according to data from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Notably, 46% of new dentists registered in 2022 came from foreign training.

Primary Care Minister Andrea Leadsom thanked dentists for their work and emphasized the government’s commitment to upholding strict patient safety regulations. She also emphasized the importance of the dental recovery plan in increasing access to care.

Leadsom presented the government’s long-term plan to expedite access to NHS dental treatments, emphasizing the need to get input from interested parties in order to make significant progress.

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