Career Focus: Dental Therapists

A lot of people are behind the success of any dental procedure. The dental staff also works tirelessly to give proper dental care services to patients in need to make their experience in the dental office more comfortable and safe.

The dental therapy profession started way back in 1917 when there was a great deficit in school service dental officers and the dentists were recruited by the Armed services during the World War I. due to the shortage of dental professionals, England trained Dental Dressers who became the very first health care professionals to be labelled as Dental Therapists in the world. At that time, dental therapists were tasked to do procedures based on American hygienists with other procedures like filling of cavities as a result of tooth decay and tooth extractions in school clinics.

Interacting with Dental Professional

By the 1920’s, Dental Therapists had formal training from the School Dental Services established by New Zealand. They worked in rural communities as their first exposure to patients with dental problems. This system continues up to this day and is adapted by many countries in the world with rural populations. Dental therapists fill in the gap for shortages of dental professionals in providing services that need dental health attention. The Dental Act of 2002 only permitted dental therapists to work on community and dental hospital services but was later on reviewed and amended.

Fortunately, dental therapists were allowed to do general practice in both the private and public sectors of the community. As time passed, the training and qualification to become registered Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapist merged and resulted to a dual diploma qualification in Dental Health.

The dental care is ever changing and evolving. The developments can help dentists delegate great portions of their duties to other dental care professionals to cater to the various dental care services that patients demand. You can now pay a visit to a dental therapist for a filling instead of going to the dentist. This can be related to the other health practices like going to nurses, physiotherapist, and the likes instead of going to the doctor.

The General Dental Council regulates the list of duties that a dental therapist can carry out. This includes intra and extra oral assessment, periodontal treatment, apply fissure sealants, take dental x-rays, dental fillings, extract primary or baby teeth, take impressions, temporary replacement of crowns, and many more. Dental therapists can even do dental treatments with the use of local anesthetic. These duties are carried out with utmost standards and safety which makes dental therapists reliable alternatives of dental practitioners.

The next time you experience any dental emergencies, you can reach out to your local dental therapist and expect the quality services. You can now choose a wide range of choices for appointments and dental care providers to see which best fit you and which ones you feel comfortable with. Dental appointments don’t have to be intimidating or scary for most people with dental anxiety and fear of dentists.

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