Bouncing on the fringes of the dental system: clinical dental technicians, a decade after their creation

Gurveer Jaggee, Jayne Dooey, Jennifer E. Gallagher, David Radford

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Abstract

Aim - To investigate Clinical Dental Technicians (CDTs) current working practices and their perception as registered dental professionals regarding their practice of dentistry, role and relationships in the dental team and within the UK healthcare system.

Methods - A postal questionnaire was sent to all 304 CDTs registered with the United Kingdom General Dental Council (September 2015), which included an information sheet and a consent form. Data were entered onto computer and analysed using SPSS and free-text responses were analysed using thematic analysis. 

Results - A response rate of 37.8% was achieved. The majority of participants were male (92%), based in England (83%) working full time (66.4%), in the private sector (89.4%) and spending up to 50% of their time working as a CDT carrying out clinical work. CDTs reported barriers to their progression as the lack of an NHS contract, and their limited scope of practice which they wished to have extended to further their skill-set and include direct access to provide partial dentures without a dentist’s prescription.

Conclusion - There was some evidence that CDTs are becoming more recognised and valued members of the dental team. Whilst CDTs felt they had progressed since their establishment in 2007, the respondents considered there was still a need for progress to be made of integration within the dental system and recognition by the public. CDTs wished to see changes to their performer status and to have a wider scope of practice. The majority of CDTs work in the private sector thus there is a need to explore their future roles within the state dental provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume226
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019

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