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The European Union

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Last reviewed:
16/03/2010
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Last updated:
16/03/2010
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The European Economic Area

The EU allows the free movement of business, services and workers throughout Europe, and special regulations on dentistry provide for the mutual recognition of dental qualifications in all member states.  Since 1 January 2007, the EU consists of 27 member states which are: 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

These provisions also apply to associated states of the EU - Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - which together with the EU make up the European Economic Area (EEA).  Switzerland is also covered by mutual agreements and the same regulations apply to its citizens.

Freedom of movement

British and most other EU and EEA nationals do not need permission to work in any EU country, and are free to travel and remain there, although there are some specific requirements for some Eastern European countries.  Ensure that you have a valid passport before you travel.

The families of a British, EU or EEA national exercising the right to free movement are also entitled to travel to and remain in another EU or EEA country.  This applies even if the family members are not British, EU or EEA nationals.

While European law facilitates free movement, it does not override all internal requirements.  A host country may place the same restrictions on an immigrant dentist as it does on its own nationals.  Therefore, in some countries you may have to comply with apparently petty rules and regulations, but in general problems can be overcome fairly easily.  Also, these cannot be unreasonable or discourage immigration.  For example, one EU member state previously required dentists to cancel registration in their country of origin before they were permitted to register.  This put severe practical difficulties in the way of getting started, and was stopped by the European Court of Justice (similarly, the British vocational training requirement cannot be applied to EU or EEA dentists).

Recognition of qualifications

EU and EEA dental qualifications held by the nationals of EU and EEA countries are recognised in each member state.  Dentists are therefore able to practise throughout the EU and EEA.  There are some exceptions however:

The qualifications from some of the accession states (countries that joined the EU recently) may not meet EU Dental Training Directive 78/687 EEA.  For example, dentists qualified in some Eastern European countries are required to have three years' experience in their own country before they can register in the UK. Please contact the BDA's Education Team for more information.

You must hold a primary dental qualification - for British graduates this would be the BDS or BChD, or the Licenciate in Dental Surgery (LDS).  Dentists must register with the competent regulatory authority of the country in which they wish to work, and you will be asked to provide such information as proof of qualification, a letter of good standing and proof of fitness.  The GDC will have to certify many of these papers, and so you should also contact the GDC as soon as possible.

National dental associations will be able to provide information on dentistry in their countries.

Some dentists use agencies in a country to help them find their way through the registration procedures and set up in practice.  Their experiences vary, however, and the BDA advises that such services are not normally necessary.

Regulatory authorities

You must register with or be licensed by the competent (that is, regulatory) authority in the country in which you wish to practise.  These are set out in EU/EEA law and are responsible for certifying the diplomas, certificates and other information supplied by a dental practitioner.

Each EU country has a designated information centre to advise on registration/licensure, and any special internal requirements for dental practice in that country.  The information centre is usually based at the competent authorities, but where this is not the case its address is given separately:

Austria 
Österreichische Zahnärztekammer/Austrian Dental Chamber 
Weihburggasse 9/3/22 
AT-1010 Vienna 
Tel.: +43 (0)505 11 - 1100 
Fax: +43 (0)505 11 - 1167 
Email: office@zahnaerztekammer.at
Homepage: www.zahnaerztekammer.at

Belgium
Ministére de la Santé Publique 
C A E Quartier Esplanade (6e etage) 
B-1010 Brussels 
BELGIUM 
Fax:          +32 2 210 4746 
Email:      Vera.Decloedt@health.fgov.be
Website:  www.health.fgov.be/

Cyprus
Cyprus Dental Council 
14 Thassou 
Rita Court 17,  5th Floor office 501 
1087 Nicosia 
CYPRUS 
Tel:          +357 22 2316812 
Fax:         +357 22 2316937 
Email:      cda@cytanet.com.cy


Czech Republic 
The Czech Dental Chamber 
Jecna 3 
120 00 Prague 2 
CZECH REPUBLIC 
Tel: 00420 2 24 91 86 11 
Email: csk@dent.cz
Web: www.dent.cz

Denmark
Sundhedsstyrelsen (National Board of Health) 
Amaliegade 13, Postboks 2020 
DK 1012 København K 
Tel:        +45 33 91 1601 
Fax:       +45 33 93 1636 
Email:     sst@sst.dk
Website: www.sst.dk

Estonia

Healthcare Board 
Hiiu 42 
Tallin 11619 
ESTONIA 
Tel: 00372 650 9840 
Email: info@tervishoiuamet.ee
Web: www.tervishoiuamet.ee

Finland
The National Board of Medicolegal Affairs 
Lintulahdenkatu 10 
PO Box 265 
00531 Helsinki 
FINLAND 
Tel: 00358 9 772920 
Fax: 00358 9 7729 2138

France
Ministère de la santé, de la famille et des personnes handicapées 
DHOS M1 
Bureau de l'exercice médical 
1, Place Fontenoy 
75350 PARIS CEDEX 07 SP 
FRANCE 
Tel : 0033 1 40 56 41 21 
Web: www.emploi-solidarite.gouv.fr

The information centre is based at: 
Conseil National de l'Ordre des Chirurgiens Dentistes 
22, rue Emile Ménier 
BP 2016 
75761 PARIS CEDEX 
FRANCE 
Email : public@oncd.org
Web: www.ordre-chirurgiens-dentistes.fr/accueil.htm

Germany 
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit 
Am Probsthof 78a 
53121 Bonn 
Tel:         +49 228 308 3515 
Fax:        +49 228 930 2221 
Email:     info@bmgs.bund.de
Website: www.bmgs.bund.de/

The information centre can be contacted at: 
Bundeszahnärztekammer 
Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Zahnärztekammern e.V. 
Chausseestraße 13 
D-10115 Berlin 
GERMANY 
Tel: 0049 30 / 4 00 05 0 
Fax: 0049  30 / 4 00 05 - 2 00 
Web: www.bzaek.de

Greece
Ministry of Health and Welfare 
17-19 Aristotelous Street 
GR- 101 87 ATHENS 
GREECE 
Tel:          +32 10 52 32 821-9 
Website:  www.ypyp.gr

Hungary

Dental Section of the Hungarian Medical Association (Chamber) 
Szondi u 100 
H – 1085 Budapest 
Hungary  
Tel:         + 36 1 354 0469 
Fax:        + 36 1 353 2188 
E-mail:    kamara@fogorvos.hu 
Website: http://www.kamara.fogorvos.hu/

Iceland

Ministry of Health and Social Security 
Laugavegi 116 
IS-150 Reykjavik 
Iceland 
Tel:      +354 545 8700 
Fax:     +354 551 9165 
E-mail: postur@htr.stjr.is
Website: http://htr.stjr.is/interpro/htr/htr.nsf/pages/forsid-ensk

The information centre is based at the Icelandic Dental Association (Tannlæknafélag Íslands) 
Web: www.tannsi.is

Ireland
Dental Council of Ireland 
57 Merrion Square 
Dublin 2 
Republic of Ireland 
Tel: + 353 1 676 2069 
Fax:         + 353 1 676 2076 
E-mail:     dentalcouncil@eircom.net

The information centre is based at the Irish Dental Association 
Web: www.dentist.ie

Italy
Ministero Della Sanita 
Divisione Ospedaliera 
Ufficio No 6 
Via Dell' Industria 20 
I 00144 Roma 
Lungotevere Ripa 1 
Roma 
Tel:         +39 06 59941 
Fax:        +39 06 59942 417 
Email:     ecmsupporto@sanita.it  
Website: www.ministerosalute.it

The information centre is based at: 
Ordine di Medici Chirurghi e degli Odontoiatri 
Via Cola di Rienzo 42 
Roma 
ITALY 
Tel: +39 6 362031

Latvia 
Latvian Dental Association 
20 Dzirciema Str 
LV-1007 Riga 
LATVIA 
Tel: 00371 2 455058 
Email: qziqurs@acad.latnet.lv

Lithuania 
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania 
Vilniaus 33 
LT-01119 Vilnius 
LITHUANIA 
Tel: 00370 5 266 14 00 
Email: kanceliarija@sam.lt
Web: www.sam.lt

Luxembourg
Médecin-Dentiste auprès de la Direction de la Santé 
Villa Louvigny 
Allée Marconi 
L-2120 Luxembourg 
Tel:        + 
Fax:       +352 467 962 

The information centre is based at: 
Ministère de la Santé 
Boulevard de la Petrusse 57 
L- 1637 Luxembourg Ville

Malta
The Medical Council of Malta 
181 Melita Street 
Valletta 
MALTA 
Tel: 00356 212 26349

Netherlands
Ministerie van Volksgezondheid Welzijn en Sport 
Postbox 20350 
2500 EJ  ’s-Gravenhage 
The Netherlands 
Tel:        +31 70 34 07 911 
Fax:       +31 70 34 07 834 
Website: www.minvws.nl

Norway
Directorate for Health and Social Affairs 
PO Box 8054 DEP 
0031 Oslo 
Tel:        + 47 22 163 000 
Fax:       + 47 22 163 001 
Website: 
www.shdir.no

Poland
Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists 
Sobiesko 110 
00-764 Warsaw 
POLAND 
Tel: 0048 22 851 71 34 
Email: 
stomatologia@hipokrates.org
Web: www.nil.org.pl

Portugal
Ministério da Saúde 
Departamento de Recursos 
Humanos da Saúde 
Avenida Miguel Bombarda, 6 
1000-208 Lisboa 
Tel:         + 351 21 7984200 
Fax:        + 351 21 7984220 
E-mail:    drhs@drhs.min-saude.pt
Website:  http://www.min-saude.pt

Romania 
Romanian Collegiums of Physicians 
Tel:        +40 21-413.88.00 
Fax:       +40 21-413.77.50 
E-mail:    office@cmr.ro

Slovakia
Ministry of Health      
Sekcia zdravotníckej starostlivosti 
Limbová 2, 
PO Box 25,      
Bratislava 37 
Tel: +421 2 59 37 33 81 

Slovenia
The Medical Chambers of Slovenia 
Komenskega 4 
1000 Ljubljana 
SLOVENIA 
Tel: 00386 1 30 72 100 
Email: info@zzs-mcs.si
Web: www.zzs-mcs.si

Spain
Direccion General de Recursos Humanos y Servicios Económicos Presupuestarios. 
Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo. 
Paseo del Prado 18  20. 
ES 28014 Madrid. 
Tel:         +34 91 596 44 26 
Fax:        +34 915964480 
Email:  oiac@msc.es
Website: www.msc.es

The information Centre is based at: 
Ministerio de Educacion y Sciencia 
Secretaria General Technico, Subdirection General de Cooperacion International 
Paseo del Prado 28 (2-o planta) 
E- 28014 Madrid 
SPAIN

Sweden 
The National Board of Health and Welfare 
Rålambsvägen 3 
S 106 30 Stockholm 
Tel:          +46 8 555 53000 
Fax:         +46 8 555 53252 
Email:      
socialstyrelsen@sos.se
Website:  www.sos.se 

UK
General Dental Council 
37 Wimpole Street 
London 
W1M 8DQ 
UNITED KINGDOM 
Tel: 020 7887 3800 
Fax: 020 7224 3294 
Email: 
information@gdc-uk.org
Web: www.gdc-uk.org

 

 Downloads

EU Manual 2008 (4.25 MB)