General dental practice in the United Kingdom has been in a state of unrest for over two decades, with practitioners having been confronted by two contract changes. The latest contract change of 2006 resulted in much disquiet, and services continue to be piloted in order to develop a contract that satisfies the needs of both government and the profession. Within this context, this paper explores the issues surrounding the present situation. To date, the profession has expanded service provision into the private market which has resulted in an exaggerated inverse care provision. This could be perceived as a move towards a retail philosophy and away from healthcare. In order to restore an equitable balance of care provision, the authors present possible solutions that could satisfy both parties.