What is Direct Access?
Direct Access is giving patients the option to see a Dental Care Professional (DCP) without having first seen a dentist. This allows the DCPs to provide a range of services directly to patients without a prescription from a dentist which is within their scope of practice.
The role of a Dental Therapist and their Scope Of Practice
Dental therapists are able to:
- Carry out all cleaning and periodontal treatments
- Carry out direct restorations on primary and secondary teeth
- Carry out pulpotomies (remove nerve) on baby teeth
- Extract baby teeth
- Place pre-formed crowns on baby teeth
- Identify anatomical features, recognise abnormalities and interpret common pathology – in other words carry out a dental examination.
- Take x-rays
Additional skills a therapists could develop include:
- Carrying out teeth whitening to the prescription of a dentist
- Removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist
Please note, dental therapists are unable to prescribe antibiotics, painkillers or any other drugs to alleviate symptoms. If you are experiencing pain or swelling you should see your dentist.