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Legal and ethical obligations for dentists

Section 18.3 to 18.7 of the Dental Council’s ‘Code of Practice relating to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct’ confirms the obligations of dentists in relation to the prescribing, control and storage of drugs.

Dentists can only prescribe in the course of their practice of dentistry.  Dentists should ensure that they are familiar with these sections of the Code.

12 month prescriptions and pharmacist prescription extensions

From 1st March 2024, prescribers (including dentists) can write prescriptions for patients for up to 12 months. Also from 1st March 2024, pharmacists can also extend prescriptions written for 6 months for a period of up to 12 months.

Useful links

The following resource pages provide further information on 12-month prescriptions.

gov – Pharmacy Services (

Information for Pharmacists on the Expert Taskforce – PSI (

Prescribed drugs and medicines (

Medical Council – Blog: Safe Prescribing and Dispensing of Controlled Drugs (2024)