CDT scope of practice review ‘in the interest of public health’, association says

The Clinical Dental Technician Association UK (CDTA UK) responds to Andrew Barr’s article on why he is against a scope of practice review for clinical dental technicians.

The CDTA UK appreciates the opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue about the future of clinical dental technology.

We read with interest the opinion piece by Andrew Barrs and our response aims not to dispute personal experiences, but to clarify the rationale behind our proposal for expanding the scope of practice (SOP) for clinical dental technicians (CDTs) and to underscore the collective aspiration for an evolved, patient-centric dental care model.

Acknowledging differences, pursuing common goals

Firstly, we acknowledge that the diversity of experiences among CDTs enriches our profession. The landscape of dental care has evolved significantly.

Many CDTs, including newly qualified members and those with decades of experience within the UK and abroad, have encountered systemic barriers that inhibit their ability to provide comprehensive care.

Our proposal for an expanded SOP is rooted in these collective experiences and the conviction that a more inclusive approach will benefit patients and the dental profession alike.

Imperative for change

Our proposal is informed by years of evidence and successful implementation of broader scopes of practice for CDTs in jurisdictions such as the Republic of Ireland.

Contrary to the view that our proposal is combative, we see it as an advocacy for progress, aligning with global best practices and responding to the GDC’s consultation call with a forward-thinking perspective.

The core of our proposal seeks not to diminish the role of dentists but to enhance the dental team’s capacity to serve the public efficiently. By advocating for an expanded SOP, we envision a framework where CDTs can leverage their expertise fully in collaboration with dentists, thus addressing the dire need for accessible dental care and reducing the strain on an overstretched NHS.

Evidential basis and the public interest

Our reliance on NHS figures and the Oral Health Survey reflects a commitment to grounding our proposal in verifiable evidence. These figures illustrate the broader context of our advocacy: a healthcare system under pressure and a public in need. While our work may primarily be within the private sector, the implications of our proposal resonate across the entire healthcare landscape, underscoring a universal principle of patient-centred care.

Our proposals are centred steadfastly on the future. The dental care needs of our population are evolving especially as we are in the middle of a dental crisis and our profession must adapt to meet these needs proactively. Education, professional development, and regulatory frameworks should reflect current realities and anticipate future demands.

Invitation to collaborative dialogue

We extend an invitation to all stakeholders for an open, constructive dialogue on how best to advance our profession in the interest of public health. We believe that through collaborative effort, informed by diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to patient safety and care, we can achieve a more inclusive, effective, and responsive dental care system.

The CDTA UK remains committed to advocating for an expanded SOP for CDTs as a means to enhance patient care, increase access to dental services, and support the dental profession’s evolution. We welcome constructive engagement and believe that together, we can shape a future that reflects our shared values of excellence, inclusivity, and patient-centred care.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the scope of practice of CDTs should be expanded? Contact [email protected]

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar