In the United Kingdom, dentists are not considered medical professionals and are not licensed as such. However, they have been granted the right to use the title “Doctor” for a few years. This is because dentists are not referred to as DRs, but rather as Mr. or Mrs., just like orthopedic surgeons.
The title of Doctor is reserved for medical doctors, while Mr., Mrs., or Ms. is reserved for surgeons. In 1999, dentists in the UK were awarded the higher degree of Surgeon in order to differentiate their degree from other medical professionals. This was part of the “Call Me Doctor” campaign, which aimed to give dentists greater respect from the public.
It was also noted that this was not always the case, but that the situation had changed in recent years due to the expansion of the European Community. This meant that dentists from other countries who were allowed to use the title in their home countries could now work freely in the UK. Dental Protection explained that it is common practice for dentists around the world to use the honorary title of “Dr.”.