Providing dental care is a team responsibility, and each member of the dental team has a vital role to play in the promotion and maintenance of dental health.
The focus of dental care is prevention - educating the public on how to look after their mouths and teeth. When tooth decay does occur, however, dental team members can use a variety of sophisticated techniques to treat the patient’s problems. Members of the dental team can pursue their careers in a variety of areas - the high street dental practice, the salaried dental service, dental hospitals, universities and the armed forces. Dentistry provides a range of opportunities that offer work in an interesting and challenging vocation. The profession has undergone significant change in recent years, and more responsibility has been devolved to the dental team.
The support staff, such as dental nurses, dental hygienists and therapists and dental technicians are known as dental care professionals (DCPs), and play an integral part in the services provided by the modern dental practice. To work in dentistry, dentists and DCPs must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), the profession’s regulatory body.