You are a dentist and want to move to the UK? You have come to the right place. This article brings you everything you must know; requirements, the application process, the ORE exam, and answers to your FAQs. 

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immigrate to the UK as a dentist

What are the requirements to immigrate to the UK as a dentist?

Here are the requirements and conditions to immigrate to the UK as a dentist: 

Dental educational certificate. 

If you have not received a dental certificate from the UK, you must have a degree from your home country or a foreign one. It must be valid and approved in that country. 

Your certificate and transcripts are needed, so everything must be on the university’s letterhead. 

Video description. 

General Dental Council website to check the list of approved universities whose degree is certified. 

General Dental Council website to begin the registration with a verified certificate. 

The online application form to take the ORE exam. 

NAIRC website to apply for the certificate 

Work experience 

You need work experience as a dentist and must provide supporting documents to prove it. It must be at least one year. 

Remember that the registration and exams to become a dentist in the UK involves practical tests. You have to pass the tests and have enough work experience to pass them. So you would better take the work experience seriously and gather as much music as skills you can. 

Registration with the General Dental Council (GDC)

All non-UK nationals who want to become a dentist in the UK must register with the GDC. the registration process and requirements are explained in the below section. 

You must follow all of them and complete each step to get the final certificate. 

Language proficiency 

Being fluent in English is a must to immigrate to the UK as a dentist. You must prove it through accepted international tests as well. Also, your score must meet the requirements. Look at the below section to know the language proficiency requirement. 

How to move to the UK as a dentist?

Here are the steps you have to follow to immigrate to the UK as a dentist: 

Get your dental certificate from the university.

For the first step, you must get your dental university degree. You have to complete your education and receive the official certificate. 

Then you must know whether your degree is recognized or unrecognized. 

GDC only recognized dental degrees from a few universities in the world. 

You can find the list of these approved universities on the General Dental Council website. These are the approved countries: 

  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore,
  • South Africa.

You can check the list of approved universities in each country on the provided link. Your certificate is unrecognized if you don’t have a degree from any of these countries. 

If your qualification is recognized, you have to follow a different route from the unrecognized ones. 

You don’t have to pass the ORE registration exam before you register. You can begin registration if your degree is recognized on the General Dental Council website.  You have to sign up with your email and password to complete the online registration. 

After completing the form, you will receive an application form that you must download. Complete it, then print, date, and sign it. You have to submit it along with the other supporting documents. 

You have to send the supporting documents to this address:

The Registration Team – new applications

General Dental Council

1 Colmore Square


B4 6AJ.

Try to check the documents to submit a full list of them. If there is something wrong with your documents or the UK officials, require further documents, they inform you to submit them. 

It takes up to 12 weeks until the GDC processes your application and decides on it. After it is approved, you will get the GDC registration number. Now you can practice dentistry in the UK. 

ORE exam 

When your degree is unrecognized, you have to pass the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) exam. It is the only way you can work as a dentist in the UK. GDC conducts the ORE as a licensing exam to verify the foreign dentist who wants to move to the UK. 

The exam is conducted two times a year. You must find out the exact date for the year you want to take it on the GDC website. They are often held in April and September. But visit their website and make sure of the exact date. 

The ORE exam consists of two parts; 

  • Theory 
  • Practical 

ORE evaluates your knowledge and clinical skills in dentistry. It is based on the UK dental curriculum. 

When you complete part one of the ORE, you have five years to complete the second part. You can try each part four times to get the passing score. 

The ORE exam is held in the UK. So you have to visit the country to take it. 

If you need a visa to enter the UK, you can apply for a UK visitor visa and enter the country. 

It permits you to stay in the UK for up to six months, so it’s long enough to take the test. 

Registering for the ORE exam 

Before you take the ORE exam, you must complete the online application form. You must understand the rules and regulations, requirements, and how to take the test. 

You need the following to take the ORE test; 

  • Clinical experience requirement, at least 1,600 hours of clinical experience is needed. 
  • English language requirement, IELTS no less than 7 overall score and 6.5 in writing. 

Note: you won’t need an English language proficiency certificate if one of the below items is true for you: 

  • You have received a degree in one English-speaking country, and the course was in English. 
  • You have practiced dentistry in one English-speaking country, and your experience is recently. 
  • You have passed a language test to register with the regulatory authority of a country whose native language was English. 

You must register for the exam and send the supporting documents. It takes one month, so the GDC evaluates the application.

Here are the supporting documents you need to take the ORE exam: 

  • Application form 
  • Certificate of good standing.  
  • English language proficiency certificate 
  • Your dental degree certificate 
  • One passport-sized photo 
  • NAIRC statement; 

What is the certificate of good standing?

It is a certificate that the registration authority for dentists in each country issues it. This certificate is needed from the country you have received your document from or any country you have practiced dentistry. 

What is a NAIRC?

It’s a statement proving the level of a foreign academic qualification in higher education institutions. You can apply for it from this link

When it is approved, you will receive an email that holds the necessary information and instructions on how to set up your eGDC account.

When you set up the eGDC account and submit the document, you will receive a confirmation in five days. It will tell you whether your documents are complete or not and whether you have to submit further documents or not. 

If there is one part missing, they will inform you. 

After the verification of your account, you must wait for the exam date to become available. You can use the eGDC to book the exam. 

You will receive an email that tells you the exam date is available. You might get a date or not as there are many applicants waiting for the date and exam. 

You must try to get an exam date after 12 months of submitting your documents. If not, you have to submit a new certificate of good standing. 

Remember this. When you book the exam, you must pay the fee online with your credit or debit card on the eGDC website. 

The exam will cost you £806 per attempt but might rise in the future. 

Entering the UK to take the ORE exam 

Remember an essential point. You must be able to enter the UK to take your ORE exam. If you book the exam and can not enter the country, your payment will not be refunded. So, apply for a UK visitor visa if you need it first and then book your exam. 

You can find out about the UK visitor visa from the right sidebar or watch the Visa Library video about it on the YouTube channel. 

You must apply online to the UK visa and immigration website and complete the application form; then, you must gather the supporting documents and visit the UK embassy or visa center to submit them and submit your biometrics. 

ORE part 1 exam result 

After you pass part 1 of the ORE exam, you will receive the results in 20-40 days. If you fault it, you must take it again to get the passing score. When you pass it, the system will add you for the ORE part 2. 

You must confirm the exam in your account and pay the fee which is £2929. Remember that you have two years to take part 2 and pass it. 

Part 2 is practical, and you must perform patient-based procedures. 

The exam consists of four stages: 

  1. An operative test on a dental manikin 
  2. An objective structured clinical examination 
  3. A diagnostic and treatment planning exercise 
  4. A practical examination in medical emergencies. 

After passing part 2, you will receive the results in 20 days. At this stage, you are eligible to apply for registration with the General Dental Council. 

Registration with the General Dental Council. 

After you pass and receive the result of the part 2 ORE exam, you will get an application package to apply for full registration with the GDC. 

There is a list of supporting documents you must send and pay the application fee. 

After this stage and approval from the GDC assessment, you will be registered as a General Dental Practitioner. But you can only work as a private dentist in the UK. 

Apply for a UK work visa. 

Now you can apply for a UK work visa and move to the country. 

You must gather the supporting documents and complete the online application form on the UK visa and immigration website. 

Then you must submit the original copy of the documents and your biometrics. You can find more information from the right sidebar article on UK work visa. 

Work with the NHS service. 

As explained, after passing the ORE and registration, you can only work as a private dentist. If you want to work with the National Health Service (NHS), you must register for a hospital training course. 

This training takes up to one year, and everyone who wants to work with the NHS must complete it, even dentists who have studied at a UK university. You will also receive pay for your training. 

You have to follow the process explained here. Do not try to skip a stage through a third-party person or group.

Infographic How to immigrate to the UK as a dentist

What are the benefits of moving to the UK as a dentist?

You have searched and looked for a way to immigrate to the UK as a dentist. So you already know there are so many benefits to living and working in the UK as a dentist. 

Good working conditions

Your working conditions are not that hard, and you will have a balanced life there. You can get 27 days off per year and spend it on your doorstep; Europe. 

You will also have free access to occupational health and counseling support. In case of getting sick, you have six months of full pay and six months of half pay for sick leave. 

The maternity and paternity leave is generous and enough to have your children.  

In terms of occupational improvement and progress, you will have access to training courses and professional development programs. They are often accompanied by full support and funding from the trust you work with. 

Free education and healthcare 

Every UK citizen has access to free healthcare and education to a certain level. You won’t have to pay a lot for emergencies, and there is nothing to worry about for your medical costs. 

Your children will have access to a free high-standard education system and to the best schools. Name the best universities in the world, and the UK universities come to the top of the list; Cambridge and Oxford. 

Europe is one single flight away. 

A short flight and you can enter the 26 European countries in a few hours. Get a taxi to Heathrow Airport, take a nap and wake up in every European country you want to spend your holiday there. The good point is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your air trip and it’s friendly cost and affordable. 

Every type of climate and country you want is accessible, from sunny Spain to the snowy Alps in Sweden. 

Demand for skilled workers and dentists 

So many large companies are located in the UK, and many of the international companies have a branch there. The UK always needs skilled workers and is paving the way to bring them to the country. 

Last year, the UK introduced a job seeker visa that allows international graduates to stay in the country after graduation without getting a job offer and having enough funds to cover their expenses. They can work in any general job and cover their expenses for two years until they find a job related to their expertise and get a skilled worker visa. 

Also, if you have studied in the top 50 universities in the Qsranking, you can get a visa and enter the UK to look for a job. 

Thousands of tourist attractions 

This is one of the top tourist attractions in the world that bring millions of visitors every year. The UK satisfies every type of people in terms of tourist attractions. From museums, art galleries, natural wonders, and shopping places, you will never get bored there. You just need a lifetime to explore London and enjoy its beauty. 

Friendly and nice people to live in. 

The UK welcomes immigrants from around the world, and you can find people from every culture. This versatile atmosphere has changed the country, and the British are nice to foreigners. You don’t feel that you’re an outsider. Also, you can find someone from your home country so as not to feel alone. 

Do I need IELTS to immigrate to the UK as a dentist?

The answer is yes. IELTS is the approved language test required to pass the ORE exam. You need an overall 7 score and a skill below 7 your writing below 6.5. You would better check the language requirements with the GDC before you apply as it might change. 

The below conditions will exempt you from submitting an English proficiency certificate: 

If you are from an English-speaking country, you won’t need a language proficiency certificate. 

  • You have received a degree in one English-speaking country and the course was in English. 
  • You have practiced dentistry in one English-speaking country, and your experience is recent. 
  • You have passed a language test to register with the regulatory authority of a country whose native language was English. 

Dentist’s salary in the UK 

Your salary is up to several factors and as a dentist who has moved from abroad, you are likely to earn less than a UK national dentist. 

According to NHS, the annual salary of a dentist who just begins work with them and takes the training course is £34,728. NHS indicates that “dental core trainees earn a basic salary between £40,257 and £51,017”.

This is while dentists who are hired by NHS earn about £44,955 and £96,154.

According to Indeed, the average salary of a dentist in the UK is £76,643. But the mentioned amount is for skilled dentists who have a few years of experience. 

According to Jobted, the average salary of dentists in the UK is about £72,000. 

Highest paying UK cities for dentists

The city you want to work in is a determining factor The below list of payments can give a good perspective of payments in UK cities. 


£91,323 per year


£74,658 per year


£65,504 per year


£82,426 per year


£71,027 per year


£64,769 per year


£75,227 per year


£66,622 per year


£63,033 per year

Let’s sum up…

This article explains how you can immigrate to the UK as a dentist. 

It brought you the list of eligibility principles, requirements, and how to apply for it. The entire application process is explained step by step. 

If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.

Frequently asked questions about moving to the UK as a dentist?

Can I immigrate to the UK as a foreign dentist?

Yes, you can move to the UK from any country but you must pass the ORE exam and meet the eligibility requirements. 

Do I need IELTS to immigrate to the UK as a dentist?

Yes, if you are not from an English-speaking country. 

Does the UK require dentists?

Yes, they need a dentist and welcome foreign dentist but you must be eligible to enter the country. 

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  1. jasmine says:

    i think you meant 1,600 hours of required clinical experience