The European Alert Mechanism has been launched to protect patients from potentially unsafe dental professionals.
The system aims to make European dentistry much more transparent, giving dental regulators the chance to identify dental professionals who may have been banned whilst working in other European countries.
‘As dental professionals, patients need to know that they can trust us to give them the best treatments we possibly can,’ president of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), Michaela ONeill, said.
‘We are thrilled on the implementation of this system as it allows for this to happen in a highly effective and wide reaching way, giving them much greater visibility and security when it comes to their oral health.
‘I see this leading to better standards when it comes to dentistry and that means better practices and overall happier patients.
‘Dental professionals will also potentially benefit from this as it will make them alert to any issues potential employers may have had within Europe.’
Regulators will be able to access names, date and place of birth to help identify restricted dental care professionals.
The alerts that will be sent to regulators will also include the period that the professional’s restriction applies for and the date of the decision.
‘An increasing trend we are seeing is that of “dental tourism” and with it there are many potential pitfalls,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said.
‘Patients go into it facing huge risks when it comes to the treatment they receive as they do not know if it is safe, the credentials of the DCP are correct or what their rights are if something goes wrong.
‘Although “dental tourism” is not advised, this system may give people a little bit more protection, although some countries still do not have any formal system of registration for dentists.’