Dental therapists are registered dental professionals who have had extensive dental school training to carry out certain items of dental treatment under prescription from a dentist.
Dental therapy covers all the scope of practice of a dental hygienist or dental nurse, but dental therapists are also qualified to:
- carry out direct restorations on permanent and primary teeth
- carry out pulpotomies on primary teeth
- extract primary teeth
- place pre-formed crowns on primary teeth
- plan the delivery of a patient’s care
Additional skills which dental therapists could develop during their careers include
- administering inhalational sedation
- varying the detail of a prescription but not the direction of a prescription
- prescribing radiographs
- carrying out tooth whitening to the prescription of a dentist
- removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist
Dental therapists do not carry out a patient’s initial diagnosis or take overall responsibility for planning a patient’s treatment.