Small-minded comments


Sir, I write in response to the letter by A. C. L. Holden (No to direct access; BDJ 2012; 212: 355-356). The initial training course for dentists is indeed longer than that of most dental hygienists and therapists although the graduate entry programmes at UCLan and Peninsula are equal in duration to the BSc (Hons) at Edinburgh. However, surely it is the content and learning that are relevant to the scope of practice rather than the duration. The learning of all dental professionals is lifelong and new knowledge and skills are continually being gained. In respect to the ability to ‘diagnose’ oral cancers and mucosal conditions, dental hygienists and therapists can learn relevant skills just as dental students do. I am sure that many would acknowledge that they would benefit from such training and welcome the opportunity. As a dentist I have recognised malignancy in my patients. I have referred them to a colleague who has treated them based on the report of a pathologist, rather than my suspicions. I recognise that I do not have the training or skills to make the final diagnosis. An identical pathway is available to dental hygienists and therapists. M. Wanless By email DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2012.562 SMALL-MINDED COMMENTS

DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2012.563

Cite this paper

@article{Joyce2012SmallmindedC, title={Small-minded comments}, author={Mike Joyce}, journal={BDJ}, year={2012}, volume={213}, pages={3-4} }