Part-time general dental practitioners (GDPs) and dental care professionals (DCPs) working in practice are being increasingly utilised to deliver undergraduate clinical dental education to both dental and hygiene/therapy students. As such, there is a need for appropriate recruitment processes and ongoing staff development in the different and complex role of the clinical teacher. Recently a group of experienced dental practitioners, making a journey from GDP to part-time clinical teacher, identified common themes, experiences, challenges and realisations. These were: 'what is clinical dental education?'; 'me as a clinical teacher'; and 'specific teaching issues'. The themes highlighted the complexity of dental education and the different environment of the teaching clinic from general practice. Some of the themes identified could be a starting point for the induction process to facilitate an easier transition from experienced GDP to clinical teacher. With the current demands from both students and patients alike, the 'three way dynamic of patient, student and teacher' needs to be supported if dental schools are to attract and develop the highest quality clinical teachers. It is of critical importance to give an exceptional experience to students in their clinical education as well as to patients in terms of excellent and appropriate treatment. The challenge for deans and directors of education is to find the resources to properly fund teacher recruitment, induction and the development of part-time GDPs in order to produce the expert teachers of tomorrow.