Procedure descriptions

Applying for a licence to practise as an NHS dentist

Dentists can treat NHS patients and bill their treatment through the health insurance companies. For this, you must apply for a licence to practise as an NHS dentist.

When the licence is issued, you as an NHS dentist will become a member of the Association of National Health Dentists (Kassenzahnärztliche Vereinigung, KZV). As a result, you will be authorised and obliged to provide dental care either full-time or 50 percent of the time as stipulated in your licence.

Note: The licence restrictions on NHS dentists were abolished as of 1 April 2007.

Responsible department

The licence committee in the registration district in which you want to practise as an NHS dentist



You can only be licensed as an NHS dentist if   

  • you are listed in the Register of Dentists (Zahnarztregister),   
  • you are not hindered by other employment commitments or non-voluntary activities from providing dental care to NHS patients for the time required (maximum 13 hours a week if you have a full licence),   
  • you do not carry out any dental activity that is incompatible with the work of NHS dentists, and   
  • you do not have any serious health issues or other personal failings (in particular, you may not have been addicted to drugs or alcohol during the five years preceding your application)

Note: You can still be licensed as an NHS dentist even if impediments exist as in the second and third points listed above. However, the corresponding impediment must be removed within three months of the licence becoming incontestable. Work in licensed clinics, preventive and rehabilitative institutions is compatible with the work of NHS dentists.


You must send a licence application to the competent authority in writing and pay the fees.

Your application must state:  

  • for which location and,   
  • if appropriate, for which specialism you require a licence

The licensing committee will pass a resolution on your application after holding talks. The resolution will stipulate the date by which you must commence your work as an NHS dentist at an NHS practice.

Note: You can apply to have this date postponed if significant grounds exist.

The ruling will be sent to you together with a representation of your rights. The KZV and other parties involved will also receive a copy of the resolution.


Commencement of work as NHS dentist: by the date stipulated in the resolution.

Note: You can apply to have this date postponed if significant grounds exist.

Required documents

  • Excerpt from the Register of Dentists, including
    • the date you received your licence
    • the date you were entered into the Register of Dentists
    • the date your right to use a title relating to a specific specialist area was recognised, if applicable
  • evidence of work as a dentist since being granted a licence
  • a declaration that your licence to practise as an NHS dentist is to be restricted to 50 percent, if this is your intention
  • a curriculum vitae
  • certificate of good conduct (Führungszeugnis)
  • confirmation from the KZV for the areas in which you have already practised or were registered as an NHS dentist (with details of the location and duration of the dental practice or licence and the reasons for its termination), if applicable
  • declaration concerning the service or employment relationships existing at the time of application (with information on the earliest time at which the employment can be terminated)
  • declaration concerning whether
    • you are addicted to drugs,
    • you were dependent on drugs at any time during the last five years, or
    • you have undergone withdrawal treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism in the last five years and
    • there are any legal impediments to you practising as a dentist

You must present originals or certified transcripts of these documents.

Note: If you are unable to present any confirmation of your activities as a dentist to the licence committee, you must provide an alternative form of proof. Ask for information at the relevant licence committee administrative office.


  • Application for a licence:  EUR 100.00
  • On receipt of a positive final notice, additionally EUR 400.00

Processing time

  • All documents must be presented to the administrative office approximately four weeks before the next licence committee meeting
  • Dates of meetings: middle of the last month in each quarter


As an NHS dentist, you must hold your surgery in an NHS dental practice.

You can also provide NHS dental treatment outside your NHS practice if and insofar as this improves the care available to insured patients at the other locations and the care provided to insured patients at your NHS dental practice does not suffer as a result. Minor impairments to the dental care provided at your NHS practice are unremarkable provided they are offset by improved dental care at the other location.

If the branch practice is located in the area covered by the KZV of which you are a member, this KZV is responsible for approving any corresponding application. Otherwise, your licence will be granted by the licence committee in whose district the branch practice is located.

If you wish to relocate your NHS practice, you must apply to the licence committee.

You may appeal against the licence committee’s decision.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Ministerium für Arbeit und Sozialordnung, Familien und Senioren released it on 20.10.2019. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.