Help, support and advice for the dental professionals of tomorrow

Browse our latest articles for dental students and find out how the DDU can help you during your studies and throughout your career. If you're planning an event or looking for sponsorship, submit a request to your DDU student liaison manager. 

Studying dentistry, dental hygiene or therapy? Student membership is free. Graduate membership starts from just £10. Apply before you graduate and get a free gift.

Read the latest student articles

Join today. Student and graduate membership

Frequently asked questions

What is the DDU?

We’re a mutual, not-for-profit dental defence organisation, owned and led by dental professionals.

What is a dental defence organisation?

A dental defence organisation (DDO) represents the interests of dental professionals by providing professional indemnity and access to expert dento-legal advice, assistance and support.

DDOs help with complaints, fitness to practise investigations and other problems arising from a dental professional’s clinical practice.

What is professional indemnity and do I need it?

Professional indemnity is the term for the financial support a dental professional receives to defend a clinical negligence claim and, if required, compensate the patient.

As a dental student, your membership includes worldwide indemnity for claims arising from good Samaritan acts. It also covers you for clinical practice during your student elective.

When you graduate as a dental professional and practise in the UK, you’re required, by law and the GDC, to have adequate financial support in place to deal with any clinical negligence claim. While NHS indemnity applies when you are directly employed by the NHS in hospital and community practice, it doesn’t extend to general dental practice.

The professional indemnity provided by the DDU fills the gaps left by indemnity from NHS bodies, including claims arising from general dental practice and private practice work undertaken in the UK.

How can the DDU help me as a student?

Student dentistry and hygiene/therapy membership is completely free and you can call our advice line at any time if you have ethical concerns and dilemmas like the examples in this hub. You can also request our support if you’re involved in a fitness to practice or disciplinary procedure at dental school.

We also offer a variety of extra benefits for students, including free e-learning modules, discounts on textbooks, sponsorship for student events and free indemnity for your elective and good Samaritan acts. If you sign up as a fresher, you’ll also get a free dental dictionary.

How can I request sponsorship for events?

We support a lot of societies and conferences across all the dental schools in the UK. We’ll always be willing to help where we can, and can offer monetary support, advice, as well as goodies for delegate bags.

To find out more, talk to your dedicated student liaison manager or complete a sponsorship request form.

How can the DDU help me once I graduate?

Your first years after leaving dental school are likely to be some of the most memorable and challenging as a dental professional. Whether you’re working in practice or within a hospital setting, we’re here to support you as you find your feet.

As well as professional indemnity, you’ll have the reassurance of instant access to expert dento-legal advice and help with many types of issues, including patient complaints, GDC investigations and disciplinary matters relating to your clinical care.

Other popular benefits of membership include webinars and e-learning modules to support your professional development and a free associate contract-checking service for both associates and self-employed hygienists/therapists.

Sign up to dentist or hygienist/therapist membership before you graduate and get a free gift.