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New prescribing exemptions for dental hygienists and dental therapists

Changes are aimed at improving skills mix in practice.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists will soon be able to supply and administer specific medicines without the need for a prescription, Patient Specific Direction, or Patient Group Direction from a dentist. The new legislation applies across the UK and formalises a change to the Human Medicines Regulations.

It is important to note however that the legislation cannot be put into practice immediately. Dental hygienists and dental therapists will need to complete relevant training courses, which are currently being developed. The new curriculum will be based on one drafted by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy and the British Association of Dental Therapists.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists must be trained, competent, and indemnified in order to use prescribing exemptions.

NHS England is in the process of developing a course at the moment, and is expected to issue formal guidance soon. We will provide further information once it becomes available.