Scope of practice

Direct Access means patients now have the option to access treatments from Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists directly!

Provide dental hygiene care to a wide range of patients.

Obtain a detailed dental history from patients and evaluate their medical history.

Carry out a clinical examination within their competence.

Complete periodontal examination and charting and use indices to screen and monitor periodontal disease.

Diagnose and treatment plan within their competence.

Prescribe radiographs.

Take, process and interpret various film views used in general dental practice.

Plan the delivery of care for patients.

Give appropriate patient advice.

Provide preventive oral care to patients and liaise with dentists over the treatment of caries, periodontal disease and tooth wear.

Undertake supragingival and subgingival scaling and root surface debridement using manual and powered instruments.

Use appropriate anti-microbial therapy to manage plaque related diseases.

Adjust restored surfaces in relation to periodontal treatment.

Apply topical treatments and fissure sealants.

Give patients advice on how to stop smoking.

Take intra and extra-oral photographs.

Give infiltration and inferior dental block analgesia.

Place temporary dressings and re-cement crowns with temporary cement.

Place rubber dam.

Take impressions.

Care of implants and treatment of peri-implant tissues.

Identify anatomical features, recognise abnormalities and interpret common pathology.

Carry out oral cancer screening.

If necessary, refer patients to other healthcare professionals.

Keep full, accurate and contemporaneous patient records.

If working on prescription, vary the detail but not the direction of the prescription according to patient needs.

In addition to the above, Therapist can also:

Carry out direct restorations on primary and secondary teeth

Carry out pulpotomies on primary teeth

Extract primary teeth

Place preformed crowns on primary teeth

Additional skills which Dental Hygienists/Therapists might develop include:

Tooth whitening to the prescription of a dentist.

Administering inhalation sedation.

Removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist.

The above information is taken from The General Dental Council (GDC)

If you require more information please ask at the reception or visit the GDC website www.gdc-uk.org