April 25, 2024


The NDC Act establishes the National Dental Commission and autonomous boards to regulate dental education, maintain standards, and promote oral health

"Oral health is an integral part of total health, and oral health care is an integral part of comprehensive health care, including primary care"

The National Dental Commission Bill, 2023 was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 24,2023, and passed on July 28, 2023 subsequently it was passed in Rajya Sabha on August 8, 2023. The act finally received the assent of the President on 11thAugust 2023. The act regulates the profession of dentistry in India, provides quality and affordable dental education and to make high-quality oral healthcare accessible.


The bill revokes the Dentists Act, of 1948 and proposes to set up (i) the National Dental Commission, (ii) the Dental Advisory Council and (iii) three autonomous Boards for regulating education and standards of dentistry.

The National Dental Commission would comprise 33 members with a chairperson, 8Ex-officio members and 24 part-time members appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a Search-cum-Selection Committee. Search-cum-selection committee will comprise the cabinet secretary, three experts, one member and the secretary to the government of India in charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a convener. The centre holds the power to remove from office the Chairperson or any other member in situations such as abuse of power, conviction of an offence, or declared incompetent or physically and mentally incapable. 

The Act will empower three distinct Autonomous Boards: the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Dental Education Board, the Dental Assessment and Rating Board(DARB), and the Ethics and Dental Registration Board (EDRB). These boards will carry out specific assigned functions, contributing to a comprehensive regulatory framework.

The National Dental Commission’s functions include

·                 Establishing guidelines and rules to manage training, testing, and education.

·                 Encourage the acceptance of extra degrees or certificates in higher education, emphasizing the importance of developing soft skills for dentists looking to advance in their careers.

·                 Ensuring admission to undergraduate dentistry programs by means of the National Medical Commission Act 2019's National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

·                 Evaluate the needs for oral healthcare, such as the infrastructure needed for healthcare, the advancement of dentists' careers, and the availability of human resources for oral health.

·                 Making sure the National Exit Test (NExT-Dental) is used to ensure admission to postgraduate courses.

·                 Encourage the use of preventive dentistry treatments.

·                 Making sure that the autonomous board is coordinated.

·                 Establish regulations and guidelines to guarantee the adherence to professional ethics within the dentistry field and to encourage moral behavior when dentists are providing care.

·                 Develop rules for determining fees and charges for 50% of seats at private dental institutes and colleges governed by this act.



Impact of National Dental Commission Act on Dental Education

This act applies throughout India and ensures a bright future for the Indian dentistry system by introducing cutting-edge technology in dental offices and allocating resources to people throughout the national demographic. Encouraging the dentistry education profession to adhere to international standards is one of the objectives of the law. Otherwise, the dental education system suffers significantly. There are no government jobs available for dentists. If the act is carried out correctly, it will be a revolutionary step toward upgrading dentistry in India and offering oral health care to the entire nation. This act will increase access to high-quality, reasonably priced dental education, guarantee the availability of qualified dental professionals throughout the nation, promote equitable and universal oral healthcare that fosters a community health perspective and makes dental professionals' services accessible to all, and advance national health goals. It will also encourage dental professionals to incorporate the most recent dental research into their work and to contribute to research, maintain an objective, transparent, and periodic evaluation of dental institutions, make it easier to maintain a dental register for India, and uphold the highest ethical standards in all areas of dental services. Finally, this act will be flexible enough to adjust tochanging needs and features an efficient grievance redressal mechanism.


The National Dental Commission Bill 2023 can encounter the following challenges:


1. Representation and Autonomy: The Bill raises concerns about the central government's strong empowerment through its ability to appoint the Chairperson and ex-officio members of the NDC. Some are concerned that the central government's significant reliance on selecting all commission members would result in an undue concentration of power and authority in its hands.

2. Feasibility and Cost-effectiveness: A complex bureaucratic structure is encouraged by the creation of a separate dental commission when a National Medical Commission already regulates a particular area of medicine. Establishing a new commission will provide several difficulties with regard to the appropriate distribution of resources, especially in times of economic depression.

3.Lack of attention to Dental Auxiliaries: Auxiliaries are classified into two groups by the Dentist Act of 1948: dental mechanics and dental hygienists.  However, the current scenario in India is bad, with only6,605 dental auxiliaries, demonstrating a neglect of these allied health professionals. The existing Bill fails to define and sufficiently acknowledge the important role played by dental auxiliary personnel.

As the twentieth century comes to an end, dentistry education faces a number of obstacles, including financial, intellectual, organizational, and technical. Four elements stand out in this report's vision for the future.


To conclude with the above article, NDC will significantly improve in the quality of dental education and practice by promoting uniform & excellent dental education, fostering ethical & professional dental care, encouraging innovation & research, fortifying dental education & practice.