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Asylum seeker and refugee dentists

If you are a dentist through qualification, registration or equivalent in your home country and you now have asylum seeker or refugee status and currently live in the UK then we are here to help you.

Read more about our process and what we can offer on this page.
You can request help by completing the application form.

How we help

Financial aid requests are done through an application form which you can find below.
The form asks you to upload evidence that you are a dentist (for example your qualification certificate), plus evidence of your immigration status as an asylum seeker or refugee. Like all applicants, we also ask you to upload bank statements for all your bank accounts covering the last three months to verify your financial situation.
Once we’ve received this, we will make an initial check and then arrange a time to speak. The phone call helps us to understand your application, to go through any queries and to explain the process including our timescales.

What we help with

Support is given based on what it is you need the most.
This could be funds towards rent, bills, and food. We also help with costs towards getting qualified or registered in the UK as a dentist. This may be funds for continual professional development (CPD) including travel and equipment costs, exams fees, registration fees with the General Dental Council and/ or towards indemnity (insurance) once you have been offered a role.

Free Resouces

You are also welcome to access any of our free resources regarding budgeting and support with your wellbeing at any point.

Other Organisations

There are organisations across the UK supporting refugees plus other organisations have a remit of specifically helping asylum seeker and refugees with healthcare qualifications.

We work with them to ensure you are getting the best help. Their details are below.

Where possible, we encourage you to seek help with these organisations before coming to us as they often have tailored programmes to help with education including English Language qualifications, housing, and employment.
Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit (RAGU) (London)
Refugee Council
Restart Refugee Support (UK)
Refuaid (UK)
Bridges Programmes (Scotland)
British Dental Association (UK)
Council for At Risk Academics (CARA) (UK)
Dental Mentors (UK)
Displaced People in Action (Wales)

How to work as a dentist in the UK

If you qualified overseas and want to work as a dentist in the UK, there are different routes depending on where you trained.

General Dental Council (GDC) Registration

Every dentist must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). There is an application process and a fee. Their website outlines the requirements including the exams you need to take to be eligible for registration.

Dentists who have passed the Overseas Registration Exams (ORE) or License in Dental Surgery (LDC) exams can apply to be registered by the General Dental Council. 

National Health Service (NHS) Careers

After registration, may wish to work for the National Health Service (NHS). The following links offer some guidance to the process of how to get a role in the UK.

Healthcare Careers – NHS
Royal College of Surgeons
Guidance for International Dental Graduates
Working as an NHS dentist (England)
Working as an NHS dentist (Scotland)
Working as an NHS dentist (Northern Ireland)
Working as an NHS dentist (Wales)

Get support in other ways

You can also get support with your wellbeing including counselling, legal and debt advice via our Assistance Programme in partnership with Health Assured via a 24/7 helpline, smartphone app or online wellbeing content.

Dr Austin Banner


  • Trustee since 2010
  • Dental speciality – Retired consultant Orthodontist
  • County – Southern Counties
  • I am a Past President of the BDA Southern Counties Branch with extensive experience in committee, management, teaching, and training.

Dr Peter Crooks


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I am the representative of the Principal Executive Committee of the BDA on the BDA Benevolent Fund Board. I hope to continue and foster the close working relationship between the Charity and the BDA, of whose members are also members of the charity. I’m also a Director and Secretary of a charitable company – CHEERS Youth Centre

Dr Molly Deykin


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – London
  • I have been involved in student support groups and I was elected British Dental Student Association President. I worked with the Sands Cox Charity when I was the Dental School Society Vice-President. After graduating I was the Foundation Dentist Representative on the BDA Young Dentists Committee.

Dr Allan Franklin


  • Trustee since 2003
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner for 35 years
  • County – Oldham/ Rochdale
  • I am the Chairman of BDA Oldham & Rochdale Section (and previous Secretary). Chairman for the E.Lancs & E Cheshire Branch of BDA in charge of section regeneration. Previous Chairman of British Society for Dental Hypnosis (as it was then) and involved in Local Dental Committees.

Dr Alex Gormley


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol
  • County – Bristol
  • I have worked in primary dental care and a maxillofacial unit since graduation. I am continuing my dental core training alongside academic training at the University of Bristol. I also serve as the Early Career Representative as an invited board member at the FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Dr Chris Hayward


  • Trustee since 2013
  • Dental speciality – Associate Specialist in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Lead Clinician Dental Emergency Department Newcastle Dental Hospital, Honorary  Clinical Lecturer Newcastle Dental School
  • County – Newcastle/ Northern Counties
  • I have been active in the BDA at Section, Branch, and National Levels. I was a member of the Rep Board/Body; a former member of the BDA PEC; a Director of International Affairs; and the previous BDA Board.

Dr Philip Henderson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental Speciality-Principal Practice Owner and in General Dental Service for 37 years.
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I have been a Church Elder for 34 years with pastoral care responsibility Local Dental Adviser for Dental Protection including attending GDC Hearings and Probity work in NHS Current member “Probing Dental Stress” group in N.I.
  • Past: LDC Chair, N.I.DPC Chair, Northern Ireland Branch BDA President, Director of the BDA’s PEC for two terms

Dr Ros Keeton


  • Trustee since 2008
  • Dental Specialty – Leadership and management of Dental Services
  • County – Shropshire
  • I am an experienced NHS Chief Executive and health care leader who combines a dental background with substantial leadership experience. I am also a Chairman of a specialist hospice and EOL charity Compton Care. I am a passionate and committed advocate for dentists in distress.

Dr Stuart Robson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental speciality – A General Dental Practitioner
  • County– North Yorkshire
  • Former President of BDA 1999- 2000, previous Vice-Chairman of BDA Council and also Dental Services Committee. On behalf of North Yorkshire LDC, was organiser and lead of the North Yorkshire PASS (Practitioner Advice and Support Scheme) preventing some dentist with problems having dire financial and professional difficulties.

Dr Bill Creedon


  • Trustee since 2014
  • Dental speciality – GDP
  • County – Hampshire
  • I have been in general practice for over 20 years as a practice owner in Southampton. The last four years I have been also working at Kings College, London. I am Chair of the BDA’s Wessex branch and Vice Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight LDC.