dentures

Scope of Practice is a terminology used by national and state/provincial licensing boards for various professions to define the procedures, actions, and processes that are permitted for licensed individuals for specific demonstrated competency. Regulations prescribe requirements for education and training, and define Scope of Practice; a dynamic entity which is continually moulded to reflect the techniques and procedures commonly used in practice.

Denturism practice is a subset of the practice of Dentistry, and parallels with their approved education, training and competence. It involves the Scope of Practice for Dental Technicians, plus the fitting of removable oral appliances, also in a cooperative spirit with Dentists and other members of the OHT.

 The Scope of Practice of a Denturist is that covered by the Objectives and the Subjects and Topics outlined in the International Baseline Competency Profile. Denturists provide removable oral appliances (also classified as Medical Devices) directly to a patient, some procedures collaboratively with other oral health practitioners.

Besides the activities defined in the detailed scope for dental technology practice, denturism practice involves:

  • Fabricating, fitting and relining of removable complete full dentures when there are no natural teeth remaining and there is no diseased or unhealed hard or soft tissue.

The Scope for Implant-retained Over-dentures in Denturism-practice involves clinical procedures associated with the design, manufacture, trial fitting and repair of removable complete and partial implant-retained over-dentures prescribed and fitted by a practising Dentist or Dental Specialist.

Healthcare providers are obliged to seek consultation, if possible, whenever the welfare of patients will be safeguarded or advanced, utilizing those who have specialized skills, knowledge and experience. Inter-professional referrals advance co-operation within the Oral Healthcare Team and are in the best interest of the patient for attaining expert treatment and optimal efficiency. In this regard, a professional co-operative spirit of referral between Denturist and Dentist would be to the advantage of the service rendered to the patient

Denturists have independent autonomy for private practice, requiring neither supervision nor prescription.  The international trend is for a Denturist to carry on a practice as an individual, a juristic person, or in association or group practice with other oral health professionals, or appointed in civil service when and where they need to create such posts is identified. Denturists employ flexibility in workplace environment by a variety and mobility of modes of practice whether in a Denture Clinic, as a Mobile service, doing sessions in Rural Clinics or as Associates in OHT Group Practices.

The elderly is the most prevalent group, requiring removable oral prostheses. Institutionalized and frail patients are burdened with a transportation barrier and often battle to deal with physical and cooperation challenges. Due to their flexibility and mobility, Denturists are often the only denture service available for any hospitalized patient, those in Retirement facilities and also frail Geriatrics.

There are a number of international trends and issues that have emerged in recent years, including regulation of Consumer Protection and Medical Devices. The transformation of the once global monopolistic and restrictive area of dental practice is continuing to take place worldwide, which enables consumers greater access to efficient supplementary services. As Dentistry itself advances into highly specialised areas, some areas of Dentistry will fall away in relevance to Dentists and their practice. This void needs to be addressed in the interests of the consumer and creates opportunities for Human Resource Development of other categories. The Scope of Practice of all healthcare categories should, nonetheless, always be within the realms of their education and training.

In most countries it is a general prerequisite that only Dental Technicians with 4 years practical experience qualify to enrol for Denturist studies. After gaining the prescribed experience at the workbench in a dental laboratory in the procedures of the manufacture of dentures for a variety of different clinicians, candidate Denturists are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitude and objectives as set out in the Baseline Competency Profile of the International Federation of Denturists (IFD). Student Denturists study for a minimum of two years, focusing on the clinical and laboratory skills necessary to provide removable oral prostheses. In Canada aspiring Denturists don’t have to be a Dental Technician first, as they acquire sufficient laboratory experience after qualification.

Denturists will have previously fulfilled those objectives related to their education as Dental Technicians. The aim of the curriculum is to produce a caring, knowledgeable, competent and skilful individual, who is capable of unsupervised evidence-based practice within oral health care teams, who is able to accept professional responsibility for the effective and safe care of patients, who appreciates the need for continuing professional development (CPD), who is able to utilize advances in relevant knowledge and techniques and who understands the role of the patient in decision-making.

Course content may vary slightly between schools; however, students may expect to study most if not all of the following subjects, which are included in the Denturist Baseline Competency Profile:

View table which compares Denturism training institutions

All around the world there is a passion amongst Dental Technicians aspiring to Denturism and recognized Denturists, to support one-another, and a general solidarity to strengthen the profession, to encourage others to excel and achieve their educational goals & legal status and to enhance the profession. Denturists from all nationalities are committed to continuous education and meet often to share insight into interesting cases, learn from each other's experience, and gain insight into the latest developments in technology and the profession. These interactions take place whether the profession has legal status or not, to be on top of the cutting edge of technology and build out their practices for their denture patients' advantage.

IFD LogoMembership of the International Federation (IFD) consists of national Denturist organizations from around the world interested in providing a forum for the promotion of the profession. The gradual spreading of the profession is proof of the strength and efficiency of the IFD and the cooperation extended from one national Association to another in spite of the daunting opposition presented by the monopoly holder. Denturists have a committed tenacity to meet the challenge and have successful examples of international colleagues as inspirational motivation. Denturism looks toward building the international support, which will assist in meeting the professional and inter-professional challenges of the twenty-first century. Denturists work toward redefining relationships with other dental health care professions, and addressing issues like legislated monopolies and will continue to carve out their role and responsibilities in terms of Denturism.