Dental Professionals hail new European alert mechanism

Dental professionals are hailing the newly implemented European Alert Mechanism as it will give patients more protection from potentially unsafe practice and help improve the image of dentistry.

The system aims to make the European dental industry much more transparent, covering the whole European Economic Area (EEA), it gives regulators the power to identify dental professionals who have been banned from practising to their European counterparts.

In a press release circulated to the general and dental media, BSDHT points towards the opportunity the system gives patients to be alerted to unsafe practitioners when having dental treatment in the UK and abroad.

President of the BSDHT, Michaela ONeill, said: “As dental professionals, patients need to know that they can trust us to give them the best treatments we possibly can.

“We are thrilled on the implementation of this system as it allows for this to happen in a highly effective and wide reaching way, giving them much greater visibility and security when it comes to their oral health.

“I see this leading to better standards when it comes to dentistry and that means better practices and overall happier patients.

“Dental professionals will also potentially benefit from this as it will make them alert to any issues potential employers may have had within Europe.”

The information which regulators will have access to includes the name, date and place of birth to help identify restricted DCP’s.

Alerts must also state the period that the restriction applies for and the date of the decision.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, added: “An increasing trend we are seeing is that of ‘dental tourism’ and with it there are many potential pitfalls.

“Patients go into it facing huge risks when it comes to the treatment they receive as they do not know if it is safe, the credentials of the DCP are correct or what their rights are if it something goes wrong,” added Dr Carter.

“Although ‘dental tourism’ is not advised this system may give people a little bit more protection, although some countries still do not have any formal system of registration for dentists.“

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