What is a Dental Therapist?
Most people have a pretty good idea of what a dentist is, and more and more people are now aware of the role of the dental hygienist. But one particular member of the team that you might be less familiar with is the dental therapist. So what is a dental therapist, what do they do and why might you want to see one? Here’s all you need to know.
A vital member of the team
The term dentist is often used as a generic term to refer to anybody who you see about your teeth at your local dental practice, however – just like in sport – it is actually a team of professionals each with their very own skills and training that make up your dental care team. Alongside the dentists themselves, there are also other professionals including the hygienist and the dental therapist who all work closely together to give patients the best possible care.
As well as playing a role in promoting oral hygiene and health, the dental therapist is able to conduct a wide range of procedures and extended duties, helping to support the dentist as well as increasing the range of services that can be provided at any time.
In addition to working within the team at your dental practice, dental therapists can also be found in the community, working in places such as schools and care homes.
What duties can a Dental Therapist perform?
Typical duties of a dental therapist include:
- Undertaking monitoring and screening procedures
- Preventing gum disease by removing tartar (bacteria) and polishing teeth
- Treatment of gum disease such as full mouth detoxification and disinfection
- Maintenance of gum in patients with gum disease susceptibility
- Take dental radiographs
- Applying topical fluorides and fissure sealants in order to reduce tooth decay.
- Restoring and filling teeth in both adults and children.
Depending on the level of their training, a dental therapist may also:
- undertake the pulp therapy treatment of deciduous teeth (formerly known as baby teeth)
- place pre-formed crowns on deciduous teeth
- administer inferior dental nerve block analgesia under the supervision of a dentist
- provide emergency temporary replacement of crowns and fillings
- take impressions
- treat patients under conscious sedation provided the dentist remains in the surgery throughout the treatment
Support for anxious patients
Another key role of the dental therapist is providing support for anxious patients, children and those with special needs. With their specialist training, they are able to make sure that dental care is accessible for those who might otherwise be unable to have treatment. If you suffer from a dental phobia or have other concerns about visiting the dentist, don’t hesitate to speak to a dental therapist about how they can help and support you or your family.
As well as helping to support anxious patients and helping our expert dentists, the dental therapist here at Bridge Dental & Implant Clinic is also able to perform dental whitening.
To book an appointment now or enquire about becoming a member of Bridge Dental & Implant Clinic in Derby, call now on 01332 916351 or click here to book an appointment online.
Posted by Bridge Dental and Implant Clinic on 12th April 2018, under Dental Check-Ups