Objective Pilot investigation to establish the knowledge, use and education needs of general dental practitioners (GDPs) of the UK yellow card (YC) reporting scheme. Design Postal survey. Main outcome measures GDP views and experiences. Results Of 130 respondents, 74.6% were aware of the scheme. There was greater awareness of the scheme among those with more years in practice (p = 0.003) and those who had trained in the UK (p = 0.002). Six GDPs reported using the YC scheme in the past four years (estimated overall use: 0.01 of a YC per GDP per year); 88.5% had never used the YC scheme. The main reason given was that they never saw ADRs (58.5%). GDPs who had received their undergraduate training in the UK were more likely to be aware of their responsibility to report ADRs as a dentist than those who had trained outside the UK (p = 0.009). While GDPs were able to identify a wide range of sources to help them learn about ADRs, over three quarters of respondents (76.9%) expressed a need for additional postgraduate training. Conclusions Under-reporting of ADRs by healthcare professionals is a recognised phenomenon and GDPs appear to be no exception. The effect of providing additional postgraduate training on ADR reporting should be investigated.