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Our plans to regulate dental care services

18 August 2014
  • Public,
  • Dental service

We’ve published our plans on the way we will inspect dental care services from 2015, which considers whether every inspection team should include a dental specialist advisor and people with experience of receiving dental care.

Read our plans for inspecting and regulating dental care services below.

What are our plans?

Inspecting dental care services…

We plan to inspect 10 per cent of dental care services from spring 2015. Our focus will be on those services that are seen as ‘cause for concern’. This is because of the view that people using dental services are less likely to experience poor care.

However, we will carry out more inspections if we have concerns about a particular service.

The inspection teams…

We want to ensure that our regulation of dental care services is proportionate and appropriate to the different sectors we regulate.

Our plans consider whether every inspection team should include a dental specialist advisor and people with extensive understanding of dental services (called Experts by Experience).

Better use of intelligence…

We want to make better use of intelligence.

To help us monitor dental care standards, we will take a collaborative approach with partners such as:

  • the General Dental Council.
  • NHS England.
  • the NHS Business Services Authority.

Comments and feedback from the public and groups such as Healthwatch will also be integral to our approach.

Your views

We will be formalling asking for your views on our plans later in the year. This will include whether to provide ratings to dental practices after 2016.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services, said:

"This statement marks a great opportunity to start discussions about the issues that matter most to the dental sector and people who use dental services.  Our priority is to take a more collaborative approach with our partners in order to monitor and improve dental care standards in future. 

"In future, we also want to increase our dialogue not only with providers but also with people accessing dental services and groups that represent them.

"I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in primary care dental services to share their thoughts with us at this initial signposting stage and when we launch our formal consultation this autumn.  By doing so, we can we work together to ensure that our future approach can best serve both providers and people using dental services."

In the meantime, if you'd like to share your comments about our primary care dental signposting statement, email

Last updated:
29 May 2017