What is a Dental Therapist?

3 / 08 / 2022

Did you know that the Dental therapist profession was introduced in the 1960s! But they are now a massive part of the dental team.


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Dental therapists are registered dental professionals who carry out certain items of dental treatment direct to patients or under prescription from a dentist.

Dental therapists can undertake the following if they are trained, competent and indemnified:

A dental therapist can also carry out the scope of a dental hygienist and dental nurse if trained and competent.

Scope of practice: 

• Gain a detailed dental history from patients and evaluate their medical history
• The can 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
• 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
•  Adjust restored surfaces in relation to periodontal treatment
• Apply topical treatments and fissure sealants
• Give infiltration and inferior dental block analgesia
• Do temporary dressings and re-cement crowns with temporary cement
• Place rubber dam
• Take impressions
• Maintenance of implants and treatment of peri-implant tissues
• Carry out direct restorations on primary and secondary teeth
• Fulfil pulpotomies on primary teeth
• Extract primary teeth and place pre-formed crowns on primary teeth
• Identify anatomical features, recognise abnormalities and interpret common pathology
• Oral cancer screening
• Keep full, accurate and contemporaneous patient records

Additional skills which dental therapists could develop include:

Tooth whitening to the prescription of a dentist
• Inhalation sedation
• Removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist

Please see The British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) for more information. 

You might see our Dental Therapist Chloe at Larkham House, and she’s also taking on new private patients.

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