Dental therapy profession have been stanpid, matched and ignored, its professionals most times are embarrassed by the dentist, saying that dental therapists/hygienists are no doctor and have range of a restricted practicing scope. I want to clearly state the functions f dental therapists in relation to that of the dentist as stated by the dental council.
Dental therapy practice is a subset of the practice of dentistry, and is commensurate with a dental therapist’s approved education, training and competence.
Dental therapists provide oral health assessment, treatment, management and prevention services for children and adolescents up to age 18. Disease prevention and oral health promotion and maintenance are core activities.
Dental therapists and dentists have a consultative working relationship, which is documented in an agreement between the parties.
Detailed scope of practice for dental therapy practice
The Dental Council defines the practice of dentistry as the maintenance of health through the assessment, diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of any disease, disorder or condition of the orofacial complex and associated structures.
In collaboration with dentists and other health care professionals, and in partnership with individuals, whãnau and communities, dental therapists provide oral health assessment, treatment, management and prevention services for children and adolescents up to age 18. Disease prevention and oral health promotion and maintenance are core activities.
Dental therapy practice involves:
- -obtaining medical histories and consulting with other health practitioners as appropriate
- examination of oral tissues, diagnosis of dental caries and recognition of abnormalities
- preparation of an oral care plan
- Informed consent procedures
- administration of local anaesthetic using dentoalveolar infiltration, inferior dental nerve block and topical local anaesthetic techniques
- Preparation of cavities and restoration of primary and permanent teeth using direct placement of appropriate dental materials
- extraction of primary teeth
- pulp capping in primary and permanent teeth
- preventive dentistry including cleaning, polishing and scaling (to remove deposits in association with gingivitis), fissure sealants, and fluoride applications
- Oral health education and promotion
- taking of impressions for, constructing and fitting mouthguards
- referral as necessary to the appropriate practitioner/agency
- performing pulpotomies on primary teeth.
- taking and interpreting periapical and bitewing radiographs
- preparing teeth for, and placing stainless steel crowns on primary teeth.
- Dental therapy practice includes teaching, research and management given that such roles influence clinical practice and public safety.
Dental therapists are important members of the dental team. They carry out courses of treatments recommended by the dentist who has examined the patient.
The Dental Therapist
In addition to the duties of a dental hygienist, a qualified dental therapist who has completed the appropriate training can also perform:
- routine restorations in both deciduous and permanent teeth on adults and children
- pulp therapy treatment of deciduous teeth
- Placement of pre-formed crowns on deciduous teeth
- Extractions of deciduous teeth
- treatments using all materials except pre-cast or pinned placement
Now for dentists, who are also called the B.D.S (bachelor of dental surgery) can of cause perform the whole stated functions and more, including major orofacial surgeries, depending on the specializations.
so there is no point having a discrepancy of any kind in the field, you are all one team