RECENT changes reflecting the new direct access agreement for dental care professionals have been incorporated in the GDC’s revised Scope of Practice guidance which is now available to download.
Scope of Practice was first published in 2009 and sets out the skills and abilities which each registrant group should have on qualification, along with further skills which registrants in each group may go on to develop during the course of their careers. The updated version of the guidance takes account of recent changes in dental regulation and has been published along with the new Standards for the Dental Team.
Among key changes reflected in the new guidance:
- Dental nurses: amending the wording on the application of fluoride varnish to take account of direct access.
- Orthodontic therapists: the addition of IOTN screening in line with the direct access decision.
- Dental hygienists: amendments to take account of direct access, including being able to treat patients direct, carrying out clinical examination and diagnosis within their scope of practice and the inclusion of the care of implants and treatment of peri-implant tissues in core skills.
- Dental therapists: amendments to take account of direct access, including being able to treat patients direct, carrying out clinical examination and diagnosis within their scope of practice, and direct restorations now includes secondary teeth.
- Dental technicians: clarity that dental technicians can see patients direct to repair dentures.
- Clinical dental technicians: the amendment of providing complete dentures direct to patients to include prescribing the dentures.
Dentists: the inclusion of providing non-surgical cosmetic injectables in additional skills.
The guidance reminds registrants that they must only undertake a task or type of treatment or make decisions about a patient’s care if they are sure they have the necessary skills and are appropriately trained and indemnified.