Taking a break from Dentistry


If you are planning to take a break from dentistry, it is important to keep up to date with the changes that will take place while you are away from practice and to maintain your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as required by the GDC. Clinical techniques, best practice, standards, regulations etc. are changing and evolving more rapidly than ever. The GDC requires a minimum of 250 hours of CPD in each five year cycle in order to maintain your registration with them. This includes a minimum of 50 hours of verifiable CPD and this requirement continues during a break period and it is strongly recommended that you maintain your GDC registration and continue your CPD during any break.  Otherwise, you may be required to undertake a significant amount of CPD before returning to the register.

Included in the requirements are core courses in three subjects that you should cover as part of the 50 hour minimum amount. These are:

  • medical emergencies (at least 10 hours in every CPD cycle)
  • disinfection and decontamination (at least 5 hours in every CPD cycle)
  • radiography and radiation protection (at least 5 hours in every CPD cycle).

The GDC also recommends that dental professionals should keep up to date by doing either verifiable or non-verifiable CPD in legal and ethical issues and the handling of complaints.

A calendar of dental courses within the Directorate area is available through the online booking system.

In summary, things you should consider doing while you are on your break are;

  • Keeping up your GDC registration.
  • Retaining your membership of your defence organisation.
  • Participating in CPD to a level well above that required by the GDC as a minimum to retain your registration.
  • From 1st October 2016 the Directorate will be operating a Keeping in touch Scheme which is designed to support NHS Dentists, Therapists, Hygienists and Nurses who are taking a prolonged career break.  For further details please click here. If you feel you are eligible to apply please email to submit an application form.