In some Commonwealth Countries dental care providers other than Dentists, were sometimes collectively referred to as Professionals Complementary to Dentistry (PCDs) and include Dental Technicians, Oral Hygienists, Dental Therapists, and Dental Assistants. The vital roles of PCDs have all too often been under-recognized and their career development neglected by restricting access to specialized education. There are a variety of PCDs who would be in a position to provide certain services in competition with Dentists, but who can currently only be accessed by consumers, if they are employed by Dentists. This limits the freedom of PCDs to offer direct services to the public, and restricts competition and choices in the market. The way that dental services are provided, subject to a Dentist's invoice, should be liberated, obviously subject to the maintenance of proper safeguards on service quality. Lifting regulatory restrictions on some of the professions that may practice the "Business of Dentistry" would allow the public to be served in new and more innovative ways. There should be an awareness of the limited knowledge and training that each category has in specific disciplines, and where appropriate, recognition should be given to those categories that can expand their training and scope of practice to better serve the oral care needs of individuals and their communities. In many countries Dental Practitioner Registration are categorised as:

  • Dentists
  • Oral Hygienists
  • Denturists
  • Dental Therapists
  • Specialist registration (Dentists only)

The profession’s scope of practice for Dentists is defined to be all parts of Dentistry. For the other dental practitioners who practice subsets of Dentistry, their profession’s scope of practice is as described in the standards and guidelines or Scopes of Practice regulations.