The first-ever orthodontic therapists have registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).
The 10 successful therapists have just completed the new Diploma in Orthodontic Therapy, awarded by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of The Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng).
The group trained for the diploma via the one-year Yorkshire Orthodontic Therapy Course, the first of its kind in the UK.
The programme started in July 2007 with four weeks of full-time training at Leeds Dental Institute, which included theoretical background teaching, clinical skills training, and hands-on patient treatment.
Participants attended 10 further study days, while undergoing accredited training in the workplace, and sat a final examination at the RCSEng in July 2008.
All candidates passed the exam, and they will be formally awarded their diplomas at the annual Joint Dental Faculties Ceremony of Presentation of Diplomates in November.
The role of orthodontic therapist was introduced by the GDC in 2006 when the new register for dental care professionals (DCPs) opened.
Under prescription from a dentist, an orthodontic therapist can deliver a range of treatments within the scope of their role, including:
• placing and adjusting fixed appliances
• inserting active removable orthodontic appliances adjusted by a dentist
• removing fixed appliances, orthodontic adhesives and cement, and
• taking occlusal records, including orthognathic facebow readings.
Course director Simon Littlewood said: ‘The Yorkshire Orthodontic Therapy Course is a ground-breaking programme, and will have a positive impact on the provision of orthodontics in the UK.
‘The course allows for making better use of the clinical skill mix within dentistry, and provides an excellent career opportunity for dental care professionals.’
For more information about the current courses, please contact Fatima Bulbulia in the Faculty of Dental Surgery on 020 7869 6812 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.rcseng.ac.uk/fds.
The GDC holds a full list of approved orthodontic therapy training programmes in the UK.