Dental Therapist – Direct Access

Patient information

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.