ADG issues 2023 Brexit warning for NHS dentistry

The ADG has issued a “Brexit warning” for dentistry in 2023 following the publication of “Health and Brexit” by the Nuffield Trust[1] which found the number of EU trained dentists registering in the UK has halved since the referendum and “has never recovered”.

The report states that before the EU referendum consistently well over 500 dentists trained in the EU/EFTA countries registered in the UK each year, making up around a quarter of the workforce.  The halving of this figure, the report suggests, has played a part in the current access to NHS dental care.  The report also reveals that the level of dentists in the UK, relative to population is lower than any EU country submitting data to the OECD, and that Germany and Italy have about 70% more.

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG warns;

“Six years on we can now see the impact of Brexit has had on the crisis of access to dentistry. 

 It could still get worse before it gets better.  Following Brexit, mutual recognition of EEA countries qualifications (or as near as) has been maintained until the beginning of 2023[2] when a review by the Secretary of State is due to take place.  It is clear that new overseas registration or mutual recognition processes  are not yet ready to be established to maintain recruitment levels from all overseas countries.  We need to continue the recognition of EEA qualifications throughout 2023 if we are to avoid a dental recruitment disaster and we will be calling on the Health and Social Care Committee to support this in their Inquiry[3].

[1] The costs of Brexit make severe challenges even harder for the NHS and social care | The Nuffield Trust

[2] Brexit – information for dental professionals (

[3] MPs to examine struggle to access NHS dentistry services – Committees – UK Parliament