Dentures & Dental Technicians
The law relating manufacture and fitting of dentures in Ireland is governed by the Dentists Act 1985. Customers and consumers however must be aware of the distinction between Clinical Dental Technicians and Dental Technicians.
Clinical Dental Technicians
Clinical Dental Technicians (“CDT’s”) are health professionals and Auxilliary Dental Workers who meet the standards set down for registration with the Dental Council of Ireland. These are practitioners who have attained and continue to achieve the necessary qualifications in their field of care. Approved Clinical Dental Technicians are listed on a Register maintained and updated by the Dental Council.
As recognised and registered health providers, only Clinical Dental Technicians are authorised and permitted to deliver services directly to members of the public. Typically these services involve not only the review and assessment of patients for dentures but also denture manufacture and repair. Their services include the treatment of conditions that can arise from wearing dentures. CDT’s are registered with the Health Service Executive for the provision of services and care to medical card holders.
Dental Technicians are typically persons experienced in the manufacture of dentures. For the operation of their businesses they do not require qualifications per se. The role of Dental Technicians is to manufacture and repair dentures for Dentists and/or Clinical Dental Technicians only. The provision of services by Dental Technicians is acknowledged by the Dental Council but limited in two critical ways:
- Dental Technicians are not authorised under any circumstances to deliver services directly to members of the public
- Dental Technicians are not registered with the Health Service Executive for services to medical card holders
Clients and consumers should be aware that notwithstanding the fact their activities are not lawful or authorised a number Dental Technicians are not only treating members of the public directly but actively advertising to the public for the provision of denture manufacture and repair. The consequence of their actions is to take financial advantage of often vulnerable and elderly members of the community. As a consequence of this action the Clinical Dental Technicians Association are actively pursuing Dental Technicians acting in breach of the regulations governing the sector. A campaign of public awareness to the irregular practices of some Dental Technicians is also being undertaken.
Consumers looking for denture services should appreciate that Dental Technicians are not in fact trained health professionals and should not under any circumstances be treating members of the public directly. Medical card holders are entitled to free medical assistance and should not be charged. So what should consumers do?
- If being referred by a Dentist to a Denture Manufacturer or technician you should insist that he or she refers you to a registered Clinical Dental Technician
- You should confirm with the person treating you that he or she is a qualified Clinical Dental Technician. A common giveaway for offending practitioners is the offer of “discounts” for medical card holders.
- You should in any event always check the Register to confirm that the party you are attending is registered with the Dental Council
- If you fear you have been treated directly by a Dental Technician, especially if you are a medical card holder you should insist on a full refund of all money paid
- Any consumer who has been treated by a Dental Technician and suffered injury may have a right of action for compensation against that Technician and/or any Dentist that referred you.
At M.P. Moloney Solicitors we act in the prosecution of cases against Dental Technicians found to be operating unlawfully. We are happy to advise and assist parties who have suffered loss, expense or injury as a result of their treatment by any Dental Technician. Our Dublin City offices are welcoming and our service is personable.