Dental Council - updated codes of ethics and guidance

11 April 2013

The Dental Council has recently approved the following guidance and decisions

Further commentary will follow shortly from Dental Protection.

Guidance to the public in choosing a dentist

The Council has published guidance to members of the public to assist them in choosing a dentist, whether at home or abroad. Practitioners should familiarise themselves with the guidance as patients may refer to it during consultations. The guidance includes information for patients who may consider travelling abroad for treatment highlighting certain matters that should be considered in advance.

Code of Practice regarding Non Surgical Cosmetic Procedures

The Dental Council has agreed that non surgical cosmetic procedures are not the practice of dentistry and this Code of Practice sets out the parameters under which such procedures may be performed. Any dentist performing non cosmetic surgical procedures will still be accountable to the Council for a serious falling short, by omission or commission, in the standard of conduct expected.

Code of Practice pertaining to Public Relations and Communications

The Council has published a statement to clarify and expand on the Code of Practice pertaining to Public Relations and Communications. Among the matters clarified in this statement are the use of titles by dentists, the use of patient testimonials and photographs, websites, media articles (including the use of advertorials) and product endorsement.

Guidance regarding the use of Ionising Radiation

The Dental Council was given statutory duties and responsibility with regard to the use of ionising radiation for dental purposes under Statutory Instrument 478 of 2002 “The European Communities (Medical Ionising Radiation Protection) Regulations”. Under this regulation the Council has established clinical audit criteria, protocols for standard radiological practice, diagnostic reference levels and dose constraints for helpers. The Dental Council has also prohibited the use of Vertex Occlusal Projections in dentistry. The Dental Council will be publishing more information concerning ionising radiation in due course and all registrants should refer to the Council’s website for updates.

Scope of Practice

The ‘Scope of Practice’ document describes the tasks that each member of the dental team is legally entitled to carry out. This document is intended for use by both the public and the profession. Practitioners are reminded that they must only do what they are trained and competent to perform.

All registrants are reminded that they have an obligation to comply with the Codes of Practice and Guidance issued by the Council and that these are available on our website.

Dental Protection Limited is registered in England (No. 2374160) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Medical Protection Society Limited (MPS) which is registered in England (No.36142). Both companies use Dental Protection as a trading name and have their registered office at 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PS.

Dental Protection Limited serves and supports the dental members of MPS with access to the full range of benefits of membership, which are all discretionary, and set out in MPS’s Memorandum and Articles of Association. MPS is not an insurance company. Dental Protection® is a registered trademark of MPS.

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