Objective To investigate, by postal questionnaire, aspects of the selection and use of direct restorative materials, endodontic techniques and approaches to bleaching by general dental practitioners in the UK, and to compare and contrast the findings with those of a related study reported in 2004.Methods A questionnaire comprising 18 questions, each of a number of elements, was sent to 1,000 general dental practitioners in the UK, selected at random from the Dentists Register. Non-responders were sent a second copy of the questionnaire after a period of four weeks had elapsed.Results A total of 662 useable responses were returned, giving a response rate of 66%. Key findings included: dental amalgam was found to be the most commonly used material in the restoration of occlusoproximal cavities in premolar (59% of respondents) and molar teeth (75% of respondents); glass-ionomer cements and related materials were applied extensively in the restoration of deciduous molars (81% of respondents) and for the luting of indirect restorations (67% of respondents); the use of rubber dam was limited, in particular as an adjunct to procedures in operative dentistry (18% of respondents); relatively few respondents used preformed stainless steel crowns, and among the users only occasionally in the restoration of deciduous molars (23%); and bleaching, predominantly home-based (nightguard) vital bleaching (81% of respondents) was widely practised.Conclusion It is concluded that, for the practitioners surveyed, factors other than best available evidence influenced various aspects of the use of direct restorative materials and the clinical practice of endodontics. As a consequence, many of the features of general dental practice revealed in the process of the investigation were at variance with teaching in dental schools. Bleaching, in particular home-based (nightguard), vital bleaching, was provided by >80% of respondents, indicating widespread interest among patients in enhanced dental attractiveness.