Direct access means patients having direct access to treatments or services provided by registered Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) such as dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental nurses or dental technicians, without having to see a dentist first and without a prescription from a dentist.
Direct access is not compulsory within dental practices and it is a choice made by individual practices.
At Dental Specialists Windsor we have decided to ‘opt-out’ of the direct access scheme because our past experiences have found that very few patients requesting to see the Dental Hygienist directly are actually totally dental fit, frequently presenting with either gum disease too advanced for the Dental Hygienist to affectively treat, poor dental care and/or other medical problems that may influence the outcomes and require proper diagnosis and treatment planning by a Dentist.
At Dental Specialists Windsor the Dentist is the leader of the whole dental team, having responsibility for patient care throughout their treatment journey.
Therefore, a prescription from a Dentist is required at this practice in order for a DCP to treat a patient.
The prescription may be made by one of our own ‘in-house’ Dentists or externally from another dental practice.
Our Dental Hygienists often work alone in the dental surgery and therefore we feel that ensuring appropriate patient selection is paramount for both patient and operator safety.
For more information about direct access please visit https://www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Standards/Pages/directaccessqas.aspx