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​Frequently Asked Questions – Patients and the Public

The British Dental Association is a professional membership association that represents dentists.

We are unable to provide advice to patients. However, we have compiled a list of common questions and answers which may resolve your query.

If you do not find the information you are looking for visit the Oral Health Foundation.


The Oral Health Foundation provide patient information on a broad range of dental issues including treatment procedures, oral hygiene, dental charges and complaints procedures.


How can I find a dental practice in my area?

If you are looking for an NHS dentist visit:

- NHS Choices (England)

- NHS Direct Wales (Wales)

- NHS 24 (Scotland)

- Health and Social Care Service Finder (Northern Ireland)


How can I check whether my dentist is qualified?

A searchable list of all the qualified dentists in the UK is available via the register of the General Dental Council (GDC), the regulatory body for the profession.


What dental treatment is available on the NHS and how much will it cost?

Information regarding NHS dentistry, what is available, how much it will cost, and more is available via:

- NHS Choices (England)

- NHS Direct Wales (Wales)

- Scottish Dental (Scotland)

- NI Direct (Northern Ireland)


Is it possible to be treated by a dental student for free or at a reduced cost?

Further information regarding treatment at one of the UK's dental schools is available from the Dental Schools Council.


How do I make a complaint about my dental treatment?

If you are unhappy about your dental treatment you should discuss your concerns with the practice. If this does not resolve the issue, your next step should be a letter to the practice, outlining your complaint and, if possible, what you would like them to do to resolve it.

If you are unsatisfied with the response you can contact the Dental Complaints Service (020 8253 0800) in the case of private dental care.

For complaints about NHS care please refer to:

- NHS Choices (England)

- NHS Direct Wales (Wales)

- Scottish Dental (Scotland)

- HSC Business Services Organisation (Northern Ireland)


I was pleased with the treatment I received from my dentist. What can I do next?

If you were particularly impressed with the treatment you received from your dentist you may wish to let them know by sending them an email or letter. Practices value feedback and some may publish patients' comments on their websites or in their leaflets or newsletter. You may also like to post a review on NHS Choices if you've received NHS care in England.


I'm interested in tooth whitening. What do I need to think about?

Tooth whitening is the practice of dentistry and should therefore be carried out only under the supervision of a registered dental professional. For further information please visit the Safe Tooth Whitening.