Working as a dental hygienist/Therapist in UK after BDS - UK-5

Updated: Feb 7


Picture credit - @zianaart


"Eighty per cent of success is in showing up !" Woody Allen




THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AHEAD OF YOU WOULD BE GETTING A VISA TO WORK IN UK AND SECURING A JOB AFTER THAT! NOT TO DISCOURAGE BUT THIS IS THE REALITY. TWO OF MY FRIENDS IN UK (WITH VISA) HAVE COMPLETED THIS PROCESS (3 AND 5 MONTHS AGO), BUT HAVE NOT FOUND JOBS. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE, BUT NEITHER IS IT EASY.


Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists work in many settings that include general practice, specialist practice (e.g. periodontal or orthodontic), hospital or community, health promotion, dental education or research.


You can apply to be a 'Dental Hygienist ' or 'Dental therapist ' if you have a dentistry degree - the paperwork needed for getting onto this list is a humongous (I hear).


THE PROCESS

  1. Go to GDC website

  2. Create a login id if you don't have one

  3. Go to registration for DCP

  4. Click on registration for hygienist or therapist

  5. Then you will receive a proforma.  Submit the details to GDC

  6. Once that is successful you will get the application pack from GDC via email

Forms and additional paperwork needed are (NONE OF THE ORIGINALS WILL BE GIVEN BACK). It also may be a wise idea to apply for ORE at the same time as the paperwork needed is almost the same. Each application (Hygienist and therapist are separate applications- cost is £529/pack)


Hygienist - Mostly scale and polish (Perio)

Therapist -Hygienist work and pediatric treatment including extractions, adult restoration .(under the prescription of a dentist)

  • Application form

  • IELTS

  • Learning outcome professional reference

  • Good standing letter

  • Learning outcome form

  • Syllabus comparison

  • CPD required (Tips do more CPD )

  • Professional reference (The more the better , like dental camps, especially !)


One of my juniors and friends preparing for ORE and has a spouse visa has now successfully completed this process . This is what she has to say about the process.


"Difficulty is filling out the 32-page learning outcome form. You have to show proof of each topic you have learned - for example - the page number of textbook you have read /studied from. There is no guarantee if your application will go through, they may give objection and ask for more evidence. But I would strongly recommend going through an agency. Because they will let u know what exactly to fill in especially  reference forms and learning outcome "


CPD List Advised


Compulsory CPD was introduced by the General Dental Council on 1 August 2008 for all dental care professionals (DCPs). Dental hygienists and dental therapists will be required to undertake 150 hours of CPD over a five-year cycle. One-third of the requirement will be termed verifiable CPD. (Must have a certificate)



This list is exhaustive and can benefit you in the whole career and its preparation. I had to make whole evidence to working on the NHS when I started and my portfolio and evidence were 2 huge folders thick!!!

  1. Make a Personal Development plan( what all courses you want to do and why - in the next year)

  2. Medical emergencies and BLS (10 hours per cycle);

  3. Disinfection and decontamination (5 hours per cycle);

  4. Radiography and radiation protection (5 hours per cycle).

  5. Law and ethics

  6. Data Protection

  7. Consent and patient communication

  8. Record keeping

  9. Complaints handling

  10. Audit

  11. Risk assessment

  12. Infection control - single-use instruments, needle stick injury, blood-borne virus, waterlines disinfection, impression disinfection, sterilisation, PPE, hand hygiene, vaccinations

  13. Safeguarding - children and vulnerable adults -Level 1,2,3

  14. First Aid

  15. When to treat /when to refer

  16. Working with rest of team - dentist, nurses, reception, specialist

  17. Communication with the rest of the team

  18. Health and safety - using computer screens, lifting heavy objects, fire safety,

  19. COSHH

  20. RIDDOR

  21. Mental Capacity Act

  22. ALL things Perio - diagnosis, treatment, follow up, monitoring, saliva

  23. Systemic diseases - causes and manifestations in mouth and treatment

  24. Pediatric dentistry - Fluoride, eruption patterns, orthodontic referral , fissure sealing, hall technique, patient management, sedation

  25. General - Local anaesthetics, rubber dam,


There are a few people I know who have successfully applied for this by themselves. It is a long process and can take 6-8 months. You can get an idea following this step -by step guide.

There are a few agents that help with the paperwork needed for this with a nominal fee and they are highly recommended. Some do all the paper work and some only guide you, do your enquiries and be clear of what to expect before you pay a fee.

  1. James and j consultancy

  2. Another agent

  3. Tulip dental consultants

Disclaimer: I have no experience of this process and neither do I know any of these agents personally.These names i came across during my research and networking with candidates who are going through this process- All information is what I have from 'hearsay'