The Dental Council is a statutory body established to protect the public through effective regulation. It was established under the Dentists Act, 1985 and replaced the Dental Board established in 1928. Prior to that, dentistry was regulated by the General Dental Council in the UK. The Council has nineteen members, seven of whom are elected by the profession and each Council serves a five-year term.
There is no requirement that any of the other members of Council must be dentists, but in practice about half of the remaining appointments tend to be dentists because the nominating bodies are providing dental education.
There is a requirement that two members are appointed to represent the public interest and these cannot be registrants. These members have an important role in the Council’s fitness to practise process. The Council is obliged under statute to have an Education and Training Committee, a Fitness to Practise Committee and an Auxiliary Dental Workers Committee. The present Council’s term of office expires in November 2025.