Hygienists and Therapists
Welcome to the Dental Hygiene/Therapy section of Health Education England working across the east of England (HEE EoE) website.
Here you can find information relating to training, Postgraduate Education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for people who live or work within the region. Information is presented here which will help keep you up to date with the requirements of the General Dental Council (GDC) and help support you in accessing the education and training you need to become a Dental Hygienist or Dental Therapist, or if you are already registered, you will find information on undertaking your CPD within HEE EoE to maintain your GDC registration.
Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists are valuable members of the clinical dental team and form part of a larger dental team. They work to a Scope of Practice, which is provided by the General Dental Council; undertaking clinical procedures that is not identified in this document could result in Fitness to Practice issues, with possible permanent erasure from the GDC DCP Register, in addition to jeopardising your indemnity.
Qualified Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists treat patients to a written treatment plan provided by a registered dentist. Dental Hygienists and Therapists undertake different clinical roles, with the role of the dental therapist incorporating a more restorative element treating both adults and children. Dental Hygienists focus more on the periodontal and preventive aspects of treatment, but their day is far more varied than just providing these two aspects; the role of both the dental hygienist and therapist are constantly reviewed by the GDC, enabling them to undertake a wider clinical role in the future.
Career opportunities are excellent and varied with the majority of Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists working in one or more General Dental Practices; however they also work in a Hospital environment, the Community Dental Services, corporate bodies and the armed forces. Additionally, more Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists are undertaking ‘the business of dentistry’ by owning their own dental practices and employing other dental professionals, and this is likely to grow in the future. Although Dental Hygienists and Therapists undertake a clinical role, some Dental Therapists working in the Community Dental Service may undertake an additional role as an Oral Health Promoters, providing health promotion in schools, community centres, residential homes or in peoples own homes. Both of these careers provide flexible working opportunities, in addition to continuing professional development, offering a fulfilling lifelong career.