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Refugee dentists

Are you a refugee dentist?

If you are a refugee dentist, the BDA can offer advice and guidance on where to turn. 

To work as a dentist in the UK, refugee dentists must pass certain examinations: the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) and the ORE (Overseas Registration Exam). They will also need undertake further training post-registration to work in the NHS.

The IELTS is an English language exam designed to test your language skills. The ORE is the overseas qualifying exam and tests your clinical knowledge and ability.

To discuss your options and how to get started, please contact Ulrike Matthesius.

Free membership to the BDA

The BDA offers two year's free membership to all dentists who have been given full refugee status in the UK, please get in touch with our membership team.

BDA membership can help refugee dentists in many ways:

  • access to the Library and its computers for study, research and exam preparation (including recommended reading materials for the professional exams)
  • access to local Branch and Section meetings to meet colleagues in the UK
  • access to initial guidance about the system in the UK and the steps to take to move towards professional registration and work
  • access to professional journals and newsletters
  • access to the British Dental Conference (in May each year)

Are you a Refugee Dentist Stakeholder Organisation?

If you are a refugee organisation supporting refugee dentists and would like to be involved, share knowledge and good practice then please contact us.

Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group

The BDA and the Refugee Council set up a Refugee Dentist Steering Group in 2002 to consider the substantial obstacles and difficulties refugee dentists have to overcome in the UK before they are allowed to start work. These include passing the IELTS and the ORE. Many also struggle to find relevant clinical attachments and places to undertake additional training for working in the NHS.

A few years later, the group joined forces with the parallel group at the BMA to form the Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group (RDDLG). The group exchanges information on statistics relating to the number of refugee health professionals, informs on services and projects by each member stakeholder, and lobbies for funding and support where appropriate.

In London, the Building Bridges programme for refugee health professionals has been going for many years. A government-funded collaboration between the Refugee Council, the Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit at London Metropolitan University, Glowing Results for IELTS provision, they have bespoke services for doctors and dentists who have come to the UK as refugees.