Can qualified dentists from overseas work in England?

27th April 2021 | Posted by: SpaDental Administrator

SpaDental is aware that talented dentists from around the world would like the opportunity to work in the UK. We already have some associate dentists in our practices who have trained overseas and found their own way to us. Now we are actively inviting applications from overseas qualified dentists seeking employment in England.

We’re inviting qualified overseas dentists to get in touch

Please contact us using the form at the end of this page if you’re a qualified dentist interested in working as an associate with us in England.

We look forward to hearing from serious applicants and helping you with the application procedures.
Our aim is to guide and support candidates so they can work with us in the UK.

Check our current vacancies here.


Employment opportunities for applicants from overseas have changed since January 2021.

SpaDental aims to assist well-qualified dental professionals to work in England. Our first step is to invite international candidates to apply for Associate Dentist positions.

We are aware the immigration and registration process can be lengthy. To help applicants understand registration and immigration procedures, we have outlined some important considerations below.

The route to professional registration for overseas dentists

To practice in the UK, all dentists need to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).

Dentists working in private practices do not require a NHS performer number. While some SpaDental practices only see private patients, our mixed practices can provide mentorship and supervision towards the NHS requirement of Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE).

How does Brexit affect dentists applying to work in the UK from the European Economic Area?

From 2021, there are of course some changes the GDC outlines on this page.

The good news is that if your qualifications are listed in V.3. Annex V of Directive 2005/36/EC, registration with the GDC should be straightforward until the end of 2022.

If you are considering registration to work in the UK it is worth beginning the process sooner rather than later.

Does the GDC recognise other qualifications held by overseas dentists?

The GDC recognises a limited number of dental qualifications if gained before a certain date, or between certain dates, at specific universities. The universities recognised are located in: Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Who can take ORE?

The Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) is an alternative, but longer, route to registration. If the GDC does not recognise your qualification as above, overseas dentists wishing to work in the UK can apply.

Although the pandemic has affected the provision of ORE opportunities, the GDC is working towards publishing a new exam schedule soon.

Additional considerations for working in the UK

Recognition of qualifications

The UK issues a general purpose statement of comparability for overseas qualifications through the UK National Information Centre (UK ENIC).

English Language

For registration, the GDC requires a proficient level of English. A International English Language Test (IELTS) score of 7.0 is considered sufficient. That is, you should be a ‘good user’ who can handle complex language and understand detailed reasoning, although there may be occasional inaccuracies.


From January 2021, the same rules for new workers entering the country will apply to all candidates from outside the UK or the Republic of Ireland. This means getting permission in advance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as a sponsored ‘Skilled Worker’ or a ‘Health and Care Worker’.

Criminal Record Certificates

All workers in dental practices require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Therefore, visa applicants will require proof of a clean criminal record for any country they have lived in during the last ten years, while over the age of 18.

Health Requirements

Travellers to the UK from listed countries must include a clean tuberculosis test from an approved health centre in their visa  application.

To protect clinicians working in our dental practices, we ask for proof of an up-to-date Hepatitis B vaccination before employment commences.

We’re inviting qualified overseas dentists to get in touch

Please submit the form below if you are a qualified dentist interested in working in one of our practices in the west of England.


Read more: Meet a Dentist from Overseas working with SpaDental

Please note: To the best of our knowledge, all the above information is correct in April 2021. If you have more current information to share, please contact us.

POSTED IN: Dentist, Work with us


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