What is an Oral Health Therapist? And what does it mean when we say "they have extended scope"?
Well, to start with, an Oral Health Therapist is someone who is degree qualified in dental hygiene and dental therapy. They go to uni for three years, rather than the five for a dentist. An Oral Health Therapist, without adult scope, will be the person you see for all your hygiene needs. They are the person you see to help keep your teeth and gums nice and healthy. An Oral Health Therapist is also able to treatment plan, remove baby teeth and complete fillings and fissure seals on children up to the age of 18.
A dentist and an Oral Health Therapist work hand in hand, with the Oral Health Therapist looking after your ongoing hygiene needs, allowing the Dentist to look after the "bigger" things, like root canals, crowns and adult tooth removal.
We then move on to Oral Health Therapists with extended scope. This is an Oral Health Therapist who has gone on to do further training. With extended scope, an Oral Health Therapist can do exams for restorative treatment planning, and certain procedures for adult patients.
Here at Waterways Dental, in Mermaid Waters, we are extremely lucky to have Penny, our Oral Health Therapist with extended scope. She is the friendly face you will see when you come in for your hygiene maintenance. Penny is competent to complete your check-ups, cleans and fillings, as well as other aspects of general dentistry. Penny is also a qualified Myofunctional Therapist and is certified by the Thumb Sucking Clinic.
Any treating Dentist, Oral Health Therapist or Hygienist must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Association (AHPRA) and are obligated to complete compulsory professional development (CPD). This means that they are constantly needing to improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence.
To book your next hygiene visit with Penny, our Oral Health Therapist, please call us on 07 5572 6522 or book online using our "book now" button.