The lack of official status for those Dental Technicians wishing to obtain clinical rights and further clinical qualifications and/or working in this area of Dentistry illegally has been a suppressed issue since the first dental legislation was debated during the Battle of the Bill in the 1920’s. Dentists were initially not recognized by the medical professions as an independent separate health professional and were going through an identity forming evolution with the introduction of academic training replacing the former apprenticeship.

In 1943 an esteemed South African Dental Specialist published a Plea for the establishment of a denture-dedicated category in an international Dental Journal. The Dean of the newly established first Dental Faculty reacted with indignation and denial. This article may well have been the catalyst that pre-empted the introduction of Denturists in the pioneer-countries of Canada and Australia 2-3 years later. Sadly, that plea is still ignored in SA. Towards the end of World War II,Then and Now this matter became a topical debate again, when die Dental Technicians of South Africa presented a Parliamentary Bill for the recognition of Dental Technicians as denture Prosthetists, to the appropriate Minister. It is a sad part of history how those aspirations were ignored, all the tricks and distortions of the truth implemented by the Dental Association and the abuse of Dental MPs to steamroller the Dentist’s (possessive form) Mechanicians Bill through Parliament. The lack of clinical status of Dental Technicians have resurfaced constantly without an official forum available to allow a real debate about the actual facts. Organised Dentistry have consistently refused to participate in an open debate with stakeholders to debate the merits of Denturism.

Furthermore, a category of unregistered, unqualified Dentist (generally referred to as Quacks) has been in existence and practicing illegally in the manufacture and provision of dentures directly to the public. In South Africa unjustified restrictions on who is allowed to provide dentures have been in place for more than half a century.  Consumers who require dentures should be free to choose where they purchase their dentures from a range of suitable and safe options. This is the case in other countries where Clinical Dental Technicians (generally called Denturists) are legally recognized in all the states and provinces of Australia and Canada and also in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the UK and some states of the USA. Likewise, there are varying levels of movement for recognition of this category in at least another 15 countries.