Dental industry’s reaction to the GDC’s unchanged ARF

After the GDC released a statement stating that the ARF for 2019 would remain the same, leading associations in the profession had some responses to contribute…


The British Dental Association (BDA) has responded to the news that the GDC’s Chief Executive, Ian Brack, has revealed the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) will remain unchanged at £890 in 2019. 

The regulator has offered no detailed rationale for the move, offering instead a series of claims on uncertainty and future risk.  

Dentist leaders have slammed the lack of transparency over the process. Fee levels should be debated and determined in a Council meeting open to the public, linked to a budget and business plan. The BDA had already told the regulator in response to its consultation Clear and certain: A new framework for fee-setting, that not consulting registrants on fee levels again was unacceptable. 

The Council has not yet published its evaluation and response to the consultation. The profession’s trust in the regulator remains as low as ever due to its approach to fee setting and handling – and continuing lack of transparency.

Fees remain the highest of all the UK health regulators and continue to be used to top-up reserves, well beyond the regulator’s own stated requirements. 

 BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said: “The £890 ARF symbolises the GDC’s cavalier disregard for the profession it regulates, offering new excuses when the old ones have worn thin.

“We require a regulator prepared to live within its means, willing to approach upstreaming and contingency planning with a cool head. Instead we have a body that puts padding out war chests above all else.

“We have long argued that the GDC’s approach to its reserves is fundamentally flawed, but even by their own measure, they now exceed their required need. The levels of uncertainty are the same for all the regulators, yet nobody else seems to be arguing in this way.

“The Overseas Registration Exam  – and any new approach to registering EU nationals if necessary – should be self-financing. Yes, there may be overheads, but the bottom line is existing registrants should not have to fund registration costs for new registrants. It is simply not a good enough excuse to hoard our cash.

“When the budget for 2019 hasn’t even been formally agreed by the Council, it is not a good look for the GDC’s Chief Executive to unveil the figures in this manner. The serious concerns about transparency that we keep raising continue and increase. The ARF hasn’t changed, and neither has this profession’s trust or confidence in its regulator. The case for a significant fee cut remains, a coherent argument for a freeze has not been offered.”


The British Association of Dental Nurses, the UK’s professional association for dental nurses – the largest professional group on the GDC Register –  today condemned the GDC decision not to lower the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) for dental nurses.

“We made it very clear, in our response to the GDC consultation, that the current ARF of £116 per year is an unreasonable financial burden on dental nurses, the majority of whom are earning minimum wage” said BADN President Hazel Coey.  “Our salary surveys show that a qualified, registered dental nurse with more than 10 years’ experience and working 40 hours per week is earning, on average, around £15,000 a year – compared to hygienists and therapists, who can earn up to three times that much.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to the ARF for DCPs is not acceptable – and we call upon the GDC to recognise this fact and lower the ARF for dental nurses.  BADN also recommends a reduction in the ARF for those registrants – not just dental nurses but all registrants – who work part time.

“Mr Brack states that “protecting the public and maintaining public confidence in dentistry” will always be the GDC’s first priority. BADN would suggest Mr. Brack remembers that without registered dental professionals there would be no dentistry; and pays a little more attention to the needs of registrants – who, after all, are funding the GDC through their ARF!”

A spokesperson for the GDC told The Probe:

“The GDC is facing specific external risks at a time when it is making significant investment for long-term improvement and efficiency. It’s disappointing because real improvements have been made but the risks are real, and they must be planned for. In the first half of next year, we are consulting on our three-year costed corporate strategy. The activity we propose there will tell us what the ARF level will need to be to carry out that work and we look forward to the debate that will bring.”

Henry Schein Orthodontics presents fourth Annual European Carriere Symposium in Paris

Henry Schein Orthodontics, the orthodontics business of Henry Schein, Inc., has announced its fourth Annual European Carriere Symposium that will take place from 20-22 September 2018 in Paris, France, at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Hotel.

The symposium will focus on the latest technologies and evidence-based treatment protocols to achieve an entirely new level of orthodontic excellence. Attendees will have the chance to learn about new and innovative concepts and tools that make a total-health difference in the lives of patients. From the ground-breaking SAGITTAL FIRST Philosophy to the new Carriere SLX 3D Complete Bracket System and Carriere MOTION 3D Appliances, renowned speakers will present innovative concepts to help diagnose and establish treatment plans. They will share proven strategies that increase clinical efficiency, shorten treatment time, and help achieve extraordinary long-term results.

The keynote speakers and inventor of the Carriere Philosophy, Dr. Luis Carrière, will focus on evidence-based clinical solutions for the treatment of complex class II and III cases.

“Innovations in our profession are ranging from equipment and new tools to treatment concepts that positively impact every aspect of how we achieve consistently, clinical excellence while enhancing the patient experience,” said Dr. Carrière. “Therefore, it is crucial to be open to new concepts, embrace innovations that deliver dental, facial and total health results that exceed patients’ expectations. With a simple, bonded biomimetic device such as MOTION 3D Appliances, for instance, utilising the SAGITTAL FIRST Philosophy orthodontists can reposition the mandible, expand the airway and balance the relationship between the nose, upper and lower lips and chin for enhancing facial harmony – either for Class II or Class III cases. This results in a non-invasive approach to face and health-driven orthodontics that greatly reduces extractions and surgery and thus the need for interdisciplinary therapy for the good of patients. I am convinced that orthodontists play a social importance in people’s lives.”

Dr. Luis Carrière will be supported by the programme chairman, Dr. Dave Paquette, who is also Henry Schein Orthodontics’ lead clinical advisor and presenter of “The Evolution of Self-Litigation”, and featured speaker Dr. John Graham, who will talk about how “SAGITTAL FIRST will transform today’s orthodontic practice”, along with an impressive line-up of world-renowned speakers.

Additional speakers and topics include:

  • Dr. Ana Maria Cantor (Spain) Simplification of Class II and Class III Corrections Treatment Protocol
  • Dr. Peri Colino (Spain): CBCT in Orthodontics: Advance 3D Solutions
  • Dr. Francesco Garino (Italy): Aligner therapy simplified: Fewer trays, less time, better results.
  • Dr. Antonio Guiducci (Italy): SAGITTAL FIRSTTM with passive self-ligation: Transforming today’s orthodontic practice.
  • Dr. Glenn Krieger (USA): Increased case acceptance, amazing clinical images, and lower stress.
  • Dr. Jep Paschal (USA): SAGITTAL FIRSTTM treatment approach explained.
  • Dr. Olivier Setmon (France): The benefits of achieving a Class I platform in mixed dentition.
  • Dr. Norihid Tsubura (Japan): Shifting the way we approach complex cases, by turning them into simple cases.

The presentations will be held in English and Spanish and simultaneously translated into French. Breakout sessions will be offered in French, Spanish and English. A breakout session will be dedicated for hands-on exercises.

At the symposium’s exhibition area, a broad spectrum of the latest innovations and new clinical solutions will be showcased, focusing on the integrated processes of the digital orthodontics workflow, including intraoral scanning, digital imaging, clinical orthodontic planning, and 3D printing.

In addition, networking will be available to allow orthodontists the opportunity to share their experiences with other peer professionals from around the world.

As in prior years, the event is expected to sell-out, bringing together leading orthodontic speakers and forward-thinking attendees in a powerful learning environment. To register, visit

Testing the water with your infection control knowledge

Have you ever wondered how up to date you and your colleagues are regarding infection control and water lines in your practice?

CleanCert, which specialises in developing innovative dental infection control and water purification products, is providing you with the perfect opportunity to test your infection control knowledge via a thought-provoking survey.

To be launched at this year’s Dentistry Show in Birmingham, held later this week on 18 and 19 May, this simple survey will help dental professionals understand what is required of them to achieve ‘best practice’, as well as enabling CleanCert to tailor a programme to support customers going forward.

Commenting on this exciting new project, Simon Davies, Managing Director, said: ‘Those of us working in dentistry know that there’s more to infection control that meets the eye, and there is more to CleanCert, too. Whilst our products meet all of the practice’s health and safety needs, all the while achieving ‘best practice’ safely, easily and cost-effectively, we know there’s more to be done.

“That is why we created this survey, in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the realities of infection control and water lines in dental practice for those working at the ‘coal face’. Once we have collected and analysed the data, we at CleanCert will be able to offer our customers a greater level of service than ever before, because we will have a better understanding of the limitations and challenges facing the dental team in their pursuit of ‘best practice’.”

To take part, simply pop by stand H100 – where you can be sure of a warm welcome – or complete the survey at before the end of June 2018.

What’s more, anyone who completes the survey before the cut-off date will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury spa day for two at a Mercure Hotel.

For further details, visit, email or call 08443 511115.

Good oral health may help heart attack recovery

New research has shown that continued good oral health has been found to help the cardiovascular system recover, once someone has had a heart attack.

It was discovered that the bacteria that causes gum disease can impair the healing and repair of arteries, due to the bacteria’s enzyme that might stop the body’s immune cells from repairing the arteries.

Looking after their oral health after such a circumstance can prevent further cardiovascular issues in the future.

With cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of death in the UK, the Oral Health Foundation say that these deaths could be prevented with simple lifestyle changes. It is calling on people to understand the links between oral health and cardiovascular disease in order to reduce their chances of potentially fatal illnesses.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE , CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “This is incredibly interesting research which could offer hope to the future of millions of people affected by cardiovascular disease.

“There has been evidence for some time that gum disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease but to now understand that preventing gum disease can also prevent further problems for victims of a heart attack opens up many interesting avenues for ongoing treatment.

“Preventing gum disease is relatively simple, you need to ensure you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and all clean in between your teeth with an interdental brush or floss at least one a day.

“Combined with regular visits to a dentist you can prevent gum disease from progressing and affecting you in further ways.

“This study certainly suggests that good oral health could significantly improve the outcome of patients who have a heart attack and we eagerly welcome more research into this.”