Changing standards in dentistry

Lead author of the FGDP(UK) Standards in Dentistry David Moles explains the second edition.

For more than a quarter of a century, the FGDP(UK) has produced guidance describing and promoting standards in dentistry. More than a decade has now passed since the first edition of Standards in Dentistry was published, and for the past year, together with colleagues across the profession, we have been working on the publication of a fully revised edition.

These standards have been reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the evidence base and the clinical, organisation and dentolegal context in which dentistry is practised.

In line with the FGDP(UK)’s other recent publications, recommendations in Standards in Dentistry (2nd Edition) have been categorised as A (aspirational), B (basic) and C (conditional upon circumstances).

Guidelines provide recommendations in the management of clinical conditions where variations in practice occur and where effective care may not be delivered uniformly, while clinical standards are used to describe the specific elements of care that need to be correct in order to optimise the outcomes for patients.

These clinical standards relate specifically to process measures and describe standards associated with the way dentistry is delivered or provided. They do not refer to outcomes of dental care since these may be influenced by factors that fall outside the control of practitioners. Furthermore, these standards are specifically intended to be appropriate to the dental primary care environment rather than specialist-level care.

The new edition of Standards in Dentistry includes clinical standards covering areas such as diagnosis, referrals, periodontics, dentures and restorations, alongside guidelines for structure and process in dental practice, as well as a section allowing practitioners to keep up-to-date with changes.

FGDP(UK) members will receive a free copy of the new Standards in Dentistry. Non-members will be able to purchase the book for £44.99 at

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