How can we maximise the impact of dental therapists?

Cat Edney explains why utilising dental therapists’ entire scope of practice is crucial and offers some advice for achieving it.

I’m Cat Edney, a dental therapist and founder of The Modern Therapist, providing training for both dental therapists and their teams to enhance dental therapy and better utilise therapists in dental practices. My passion stems from experiencing under-utilisation in my early career due to a lack of awareness in dental teams. Now, I advocate for reintegrating therapy, supporting dental teams and empowering therapists to enjoy utilising their skills.

We’re at a tipping point for hygienists and therapists – it’s an exciting time for the professions. It’s crucial for the entire dental team to come together to support this. Utilising therapists, especially through direct access, is key. A therapy-led model allows therapists to utilise their full scope, ensuring appropriate patient care. Implementing shared care ensures holistic treatment, with dentists providing suitable care at the right time.

To unlock hygienists’ and therapists’ potential, dental teams must embrace their scope of practice and foster collaboration. Implementing protocols for referrals and utilising digital technology enhances communication within teams and with patients. Showcasing therapists’ and hygienists’ work helps the wider team understand their capabilities and ensures patients receive comprehensive care with therapists involved.

For young therapists, it’s vital to embrace vulnerability and seek guidance when needed. Also, taking photos and creating a portfolio showcasing their work allows others to recognise dental their skills. An open-door policy should be encouraged for questions within their teams. The most important thing for therapists to remember is that it’s okay to change practices if it doesn’t align with their career goals .

I’m fortunate to be able to choose NSK equipment for my practice. NSK equipment is grounded in research, which allows me pick suitable products for my patients. NSK’s invaluable support includes easy access to engineers and product specialists. Their UK-based service is exceptional. If ever my devices have an issue devices, they promptly guide me through it. The product specialists also provide training and decontamination advice for my nurses, ensuring proper equipment care.

For more information about NSK equipment, visit

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