Introduction A pilot project was developed whereby vocational dental practitioners (VDPs) became involved in the Caring for Smiles programme, visiting care homes and observing staff training. Aim The project aimed to explore VDPs' views and experiences of delivering oral healthcare in the care home environment. Method Qualitative data were collected via an online questionnaire and reflective logs. The data were analysed using thematic analysis to extract emerging themes. Results Six themes emerged from the data, demonstrating that the VDPs had become aware of the general health and oral health needs of the care home population, and their role as dentists in the provision of oral care. The VDPs also had an increased awareness of Caring for Smiles. Discussion The VDPs benefited from participation in the pilot; it raised their awareness but also exposed them to an environment with which many were unfamiliar. Some VDPs expressed an interest in providing oral care in care homes in the future and discussed the need for domiciliary care. Conclusion The participating VDPs gained a level of experience and familiarity with older patients, Caring for Smiles and the care home environment that may improve the care they provide to their patients.