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A survey of the workload of dental therapists/hygienist-therapists employed in primary care settings

Jones, G., Evans, Carys Mair and Hunter, L. 2008. A survey of the workload of dental therapists/hygienist-therapists employed in primary care settings. British Dental Journal 204 (3) 10.1038/bdj.2007.1205

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Aim To determine whether dental therapists/hygienist-therapists employed in UK primary care settings are currently fulfilling a mainly preventive or therapeutic role, and whether the pattern of work they undertake depends upon the specific setting in which they are employed. Design Self-administered postal questionnaire including a day-book proforma. Results Useable day-book proformas were received from 209 dental therapists/hygienist-therapists. Their analysis indicated that those working in the GDS (when compared with those working in the CDS) are predominantly treating adults and being delegated a preventive role which could equally be fulfilled by singly-qualified dental hygienists. Conclusion This study suggests that primary care dentists working with dental therapists/hygienist-therapists are currently utilising only a small range of these professionals' skills. Consideration should be given as to whether to (a) meet the wishes of dentists by training singly-qualified hygienists, or (b) develop a system which encourages dentists to use dental therapists/hygienist-therapists differently.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:25

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