If you don’t ‘work’ as a dentist for a while, or think you are going to have some time off, then some care needs to be taken at registration time.

Some dentists think that if they are in the non practising category, then a return to the register is comparatively simple. That is not correct. It depends on a number of factors such as period of practice, proposed personal and category scope and connection with the profession and maintaining CPD.

If you are going to have any time off clinical practice, and if it is for a short period, you do not have to do anything.  Just maintain CPD and self assess your suitability if it is for a short period. Practising dentistry can be being a radiation safety officer, writing expert reports, delivering lectures, researching and other non clinical activities.

There is a significant difference between non practising and not practising clinically.

If however you have not practised at all, the longer this is, the more difficult it can be. There are no hard and fast rules, but once you get to the 3-5 year period, then it gets more difficult.

The ‘return to practice’ concept is considered by the Medical Board and there are Medical Board guidelines. However the Dental Board presently only publishes  a tool and a ‘Recency of practice return to practice’ application form.

In short if you think that you may be working less or having time off:

  • don’t change to non practising without advice.
  • continue to complete 20 hours of CPD each year
  • look at the practice of dentistry that may be non clinical.
  • if you are practising at all you need insurance.

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