Dental alert system launched across Europe


A new Europe-wide dental alert system has been launched, which will warn regulators of any unsafe dental professionals

The European Alert Mechanism has been launched to protect patients from potentially unsafe dental professionals.

The system aims to make European dentistry much more transparent, giving dental regulators the chance to identify dental professionals who may have been banned whilst working in other European countries.

‘As dental professionals, patients need to know that they can trust us to give them the best treatments we possibly can,’ president of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), Michaela ONeill, said.

‘We are thrilled on the implementation of this system as it allows for this to happen in a highly effective and wide reaching way, giving them much greater visibility and security when it comes to their oral health.

‘I see this leading to better standards when it comes to dentistry and that means better practices and overall happier patients.

‘Dental professionals will also potentially benefit from this as it will make them alert to any issues potential employers may have had within Europe.’

Dental tourism

Regulators will be able to access names, date and place of birth to help identify restricted dental care professionals.

The alerts that will be sent to regulators will also include the period that the professional’s restriction applies for and the date of the decision.

‘An increasing trend we are seeing is that of “dental tourism” and with it there are many potential pitfalls,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said.

‘Patients go into it facing huge risks when it comes to the treatment they receive as they do not know if it is safe, the credentials of the DCP are correct or what their rights are if something goes wrong.

‘Although “dental tourism” is not advised, this system may give people a little bit more protection, although some countries still do not have any formal system of registration for dentists.’


  1. 1

    As the PSA has written a damning report on the GDC to the extent that it is not fit for purpose and in effect has breached a duty of candour as indicated by Lord Hunt, all rulings will have to be re-examined and revised as deemed appropriate by a competent regulator.

  2. 2

    Interesting !
    I am wondering how this “dental alert system” will work in practical terms.
    I can give you a couple of examples.
    Entering into a sexual relationship as a dentist with one of your patients or your dental nurse in the UK (with the current GDC standards and if they decide to report you to the GDC ) will most likely see you end up in front of a fitness to practice hearing and most certainly some sort of disciplinary action (until you have shown some insight into your actions as the GDC panel often puts it in their verdicts, possibly by taking an oath of celibacy maybe until the end of your annual registeration period for instance end of 2016 and until you can show some CPD hours from the local monastery with some audits confirming the gained insights to the honourable members of the GDC panel at their next hearing to the small sum of ca £20 K per day to make sure that you actually have gained “insights”) while these actions will be considered an activity between two consenting adults in let’s say any Scandinavian country.
    Now if the said dentist with a presumably suspension verdict of 12 months by the regulatory body I.e GDC decides to move to Scandinavia and work there as a dentist for 12 months, does this mean that he is a danger to the general public and not allowed to work there?
    Another example will be driving while under the influence of Alcohol (while morally deplorable for putting the lives of other people in danger) if reported to the GDC will most likely result in some sort of suspension.
    Again in other European countries this might bring heavy fines and maybe even a prison sentence but will not result in your licence to practice dentistry to be revoked.

    Although I believe that preventing health care professionals that practice in an unsafe and even unethical way
    to move from one European country to another to protect the patients from potential harm is the right course of action, first the harmonisation of a European code of conduct is necessary before any sanctions can be implemented across the continent as what can be considered bringing the profession into disrepute in the UK with the subsequent harsh “punishment” by its regulatory bodies, might be considered as morally wrong but do not necessitate any actions from other European health care regulatory bodies.

  3. 3

    It’s a good idea but it will surely be quite difficult to put it into practice. In Spain, you need to be a member of the local dental guild in order to work but unfortunately if you are not a member you will easily work and prescribe without any control. Even if you are drunk while working won’t cause too much trouble (at least if you are driving you would be heavily fined but due to the traffic bodies not to any dental institution or administration!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Might Also Like