Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists can work in all sectors of dentistry, their role is twofold.
They have both clinical and health promotional responsibilities. Clinically they help to treat and prevent periodontal (gum) disease by scaling and polishing teeth, applying prophylactic and antimicrobial materials, they take dental radiographs and undertake monitoring and screening procedures.
Dental therapists can also treat the dentition with simple restorations, placement of preformed crowns and pulp treatments on deciduous teeth (baby or milk teeth).
Dental hygienists and dental therapists are also permitted to apply topical fluorides and fissure sealants in order to reduce dental caries (tooth decay).
Their health promotional role includes motivating and encouraging individuals and groups in oral health practises, including oral hygiene and dietary advice.
Dental hygienists and Dental therapists work within the dental team, utilising good communication skills and demonstrating a high level of manual dexterity in order to undertake complex oral treatments.
Following qualification, dental hygienists and dental therapists can work in many settings - NHS/Independent general practice, specialist periodontal or orthodontic practice, hospital (staff hygienists, tutors/lecturer, and specialist departments eg. special needs), education, research, health promotion and community as well as working aboard.
Once qualified, continuing professional development (CPD) is important in order to keep skills and knowledge up to date. 'Certificates of Attendance' are awarded to delegates attending BSDHT CPD events, all courses are designed to meet the criteria of the GDC lifelong learning scheme.
You can download an information sheet here: Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists