ALL dental professionals can now access guidance and standards produced by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK).

The Open Standards Initiative aims to raise standards in the profession and improve patient care by allowing non-members to view the full text of information documents online.

The Faculty hopes removing the pay-wall that previously blocked access will increase their influence on the profession and wider dental health.

Their stated aim is to “positively influence oral health through education of the dental profession and the provision of evidence-based guidance,” but Dean Dr Trevor W Ferguson accepted their guidance would have “no impact if people do not have access to them.”

He said: “The Faculty has long recognised that there is a disconnect between its aims in producing the standards guidance and the method it uses to disseminate them.

“[Our] standards and guidance will not have the influence on the profession and therefore the nation’s oral health that they otherwise could while they remain behind a pay-wall.”

The initiative is being rolled-out over two phases.

Under phase one, three of the Faculty’s publications have been made available online free of charge. They are Selection Criteria for Dental Radiography, Clinical Examination and Record Keeping and Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners. These will soon be followed by updated versions of Standards in Dentistry and Guidance for the Maintenance of Natural Rubber Latex Allergies.

Phase two will be launched later this year and will see the release of e-book versions of FGDP standards and also a mobile app. Hard copies will continue to be available for sale.

More information about the initiative is available at http://www.fgdp.org.uk/osi/open-standards-initiative.ashx

Non-members can access the documents by logging into the site using the username and password “openstandards”.