International dentists

The Overseas Registration Exam

The Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) is an exam that overseas qualified dentists have to pass in order to register with the General Dental Council (GDC). Registration allows dentists to practice dentistry unsupervised in the UK.

The ORE tests the clinical skills and knowledge of dentists from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) whose qualifications are not eligible for full registration with the GDC here in the UK. Candidates are expected to meet or exceed the standard of a ‘just passed’ UK BDS graduate.

A candidate is expected to be able to show competence, knowledge and familiarity in the different aspects of dentistry. The exam has two parts: a written exam and a clinical exam. Both parts of the exam are mapped to learning outcomes set by the GDC.

Find out more about the ORE on the GDC website

Temporary registration

Temporary registration allows dentists who are not eligible for full registration to practise dentistry in the UK in supervised posts for training, teaching, or research purposes only for a limited period. Temporary registration will not allow dentists to work in general or private practice, or in community dental services.

An overseas qualified dentist can apply for temporary registration in specific approved posts if they hold a dental qualification from a university which is recognised by the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (NARIC UK) for the purposes of temporary registration and the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE).

Temporary registration is granted for a minimum of 84 days and a maximum of 365 days at a time and may be renewed by means of application, for up to a maximum of 1826 days (5 years).

Non-European Economic Area nationals

Dentists from outside the EEA whose qualifications are not recognised for full registration with the GDC need to take the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE). For information on the qualifications recognised for full registration, dentists should contact the GDC.

All applicants need to demonstrate that they have an appropriate level of English language competence before they can sit the ORE and are required to demonstrate their linguistic competence by sitting the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Vocational training

Dentists who complete the ORE examination may be required to do up to a year’s vocational training (VT) in order to work for the NHS. Success in the exam is not a guarantee of employment or a VT place.

Further advice on VT can be found on the British Dental Association (BDA) website.

European Economic Area nationals

Dentists from the EEA, with a primary qualification specified in the relevant EC Directive are able to register with the GDC and practise in the UK on the basis of that qualification. All dentists who qualified outside the UK, must confirm the status of their registration and the documentation required for registration, with the GDC before they travel to the UK.