3 Jun 2015

Dentists criticised for offering orthodontic work

5:47 pm on 3 June 2015

Specialist orthodontists say an increasing number of general dentists are carrying out work they are not qualified to perform

A file photo of a chair in a dentist's surgery

Photo: 123RF

The vice president of the Association of Orthodontists, Kieran O'Neill, said there was anecdotal evidence that more general dentists were offering orthodontic work but they have not undergone enough specialist training to do so.

Mr O'Neill said orthodontists have up to three more years of university training on top of their dentistry degree while the only clinical time students have in the undergraduate degree is six three-hour screening clinics in their fourth year.

The president of the Dental Association, John Boyens, said while he has heard of some complaints about dentists he also knew of complaints about the work of orthodontists. He defended dentists who offered orthodontic work, saying orthodontics is part of the scope of practice set down by the dental council - the profession's regulatory authority.

Mr Boyens said the Dental Association and the Association of Orthodontists do agree on the most important thing - that people need to be practising within their competency level.

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