The Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board (BCUHB) is the largest health organisation in Wales, providing a full range of primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services across the six counties of North Wales (Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham). Mainly rural in character, North Wales covers an area of approximately 2,400 square miles (6,200 square kilometres) and a total resident population of approximately 694,000. It is anticipated that by 2026 the population will increase to 730,000 and by 2031 to 754,000. There is a significant concentration of the population along the northern coastal strip (many of the coastal towns being popular tourist destinations which can significantly increase the resident population during the summer months) and a few inland towns; the main centres of population being located in the East. 

The North Wales Dental Service is managed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. It works closely with Managed Clinical Networks (MCNs), Local Dental Committee (LDC) and Consultants in Dental Public Health.  Together they are responsible for ensuring the optimal service delivery models and associated patient pathways possible, supported by specialist advice and/or access to care, that meets the needs of the local population whilst achieving the nationally expected standards of care provision.



BCUHB is working in partnership with Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW), Bangor University and Welsh Government on its plans, which would boost the number and skillset of dentists and dental care professionals working across the region. The plans are being developed in response to difficulties recruiting and retaining dentists in North Wales, which has resulted in the closure of a number of practices across Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy in recent years. 

There is a shortage of dentists across the UK and providing the best possible education and training opportunities will undoubtedly help us to recruit and retain dentists here in North Wales. 

Our plans for the North Wales Dental Academy will provide both newly qualified and established dentists with an opportunity to train, work, upskill and live in a beautiful part of the world. 

As part of our plans for the North Wales Dental Academy and ongoing work to recommission replacement dental services, we will be seeking new and innovative ways of working that will make access to dentistry easier and reduce waiting times, whilst promoting self-care and good oral hygiene.


Providing dental care for the community or in an acute setting is a team responsibility and each member of the team has an important role to play in promoting and maintaining dental health.

To  learn more about the various roles within a dental team visit:  https://heiw.nhs.wales/careers/roles/dental-team/



Community Dental Services provide treatment for people who may not otherwise seek or receive dental care, such as people with learning disabilities, elderly housebound people, people with mental or physical health problems or other disabling conditions, which prevent them from visiting a dentist in the high street. 

Our CDS clinic sites are located here BCUHB Community Dental Service clinic sites

To find out more about the Community Dental Service visit Health in Wales – Community Dental Service


There is a well-defined hierarchy within the salaried service and the different posts have distinct roles and responsibilities. However, at present, there is not the same established career structure as in the hospital services.

 A possible career route could be:

  • Dental Foundation Training/VT
  • Dental Core Training  (formally DF2)
  • Clinical Dental Officer (Band A)
  • Senior Dental Officer (Band B – MSc MClin Dent)
  • Specialist Dentist (Band C)
  • Clinical Director (management and clinical)
  • Consultant in Special Care Dentistry (via Dental Core Training)


North Wales CDS provides some verifiable CPD to BCUHB employees through its clinical governance / quality and safety training days. 

The CDS also holds accreditation for a number of National Examination Board for Dental Nursing NEBDN qualifications including National Diploma in Dental Nursing level 3 courses and post-certification courses. 

Other training for North Wales CDS dental employees comes through the mandatory BCUHB training either online through myESR or other courses which must be attended e.g. ILS, violence and aggression.



A General Dental Service practice provides the full range of primary care BCUHB – NHS Dental Services to its patients, including access to urgent treatment during normal working hours. There is no longer any ‘patient registration’ and patients can seek treatment at any NHS practice. However, some practices may have waiting lists for new patients.


Most dentists work as general dental practitioners (GDPs), usually in a high street practice, providing dental care to the public. You can largely choose where you work but you may need to be flexible with your working hours. As a dentist in general practice you could go on to become a partner in the practice or set up your own practice.


The introduction of dental contract reform  by Welsh Government will bring huge change across the North Wales GDS practices for both the patient and for dental care practitioners. It will change how dental teams deliver and are remunerated for providing dental care. This will include incentives to step-up prevention and utilise the preventative-skills of the whole dental team to meet patients’ needs. Robust measures of need and outcomes will be used to capture the clinical challenges dental teams experience and the impact dental services are making to ensure evidence-informed prevention (‘what we know works’) is being delivered.

BCUHB want to increase access to NHS primary care dentistry and provide dental services (primary, specialist, or urgent care) that meet the needs of local communities.

The North Wales Dental Academy practice in Bangor North Wales will be a test bed for introducing contract reform and will provide an opportunity to shape the future of contract reform. It will focus on prevention and self-care, empowering patients to take ownership of their own oral health, in partnership with their dentist. It will encourage the development of prudent healthcare utilising the most suitably trained professional to deliver the most appropriate care, improving the patient journey promoting the Welsh Government document ‘A Healthier Wales’. 

For more information on ‘Contract Reform’ visit https://gov.wales/dental-contract-reform-programme

Where are GDS located in North Wales?

General Dental Services are provided by a network of dental practices located across the region.

Click to see the locations Your Local Health Services  Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (nhs.wales)

North Wales Region


Being a dentist in a hospital usually means working in the following areas:

  • offering consultant advice and treatment for cases referred to hospitals or for patients admitted to hospital as a result of trauma or disease
  • dental care and treatment for patients in hospital for a long time
  • dental care for patients in hospital for a shorter period where pain relief of treatment is needed as part of their general care
  • treatment of out-patients
  • Working in a specialist dental hospital covers:
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • oral surgery
  • orthodontics
  • paediatric dentistry
  • restorative dentistry