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Dentolegal advice 01280 8668
We would like to reassure our members in Ireland that the recent vote of the British people to exit the European Union will have no impact on our ability to provide our members with the world class service that you expect. As a not-for-profit mutual with members in many countries around the world, we are experienced at providing a consistent service across different countries.


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Why choose Dental Protection?

We have more than 68,000 dental members in Ireland and internationally
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Our publications

Did you receive your copy of Riskwise Ireland?
  • Riskwise Ireland - January 2016

    Our risk management publication for members in Ireland.

    You can see what Dr Jane Renehan has to say about the Dental Advisory Panel and hear how Dr Ryan Hennessey introduced a hygienist to his team. There are further thought provoking articles including Dr Raj Rattan on planning a developing career, Professor John Gibson on drug therapies that we all need to have a handle on, and the minefield of implant dentistry.

    Members can read the current edition and browse through a library of our publications on Prism, our E-learning platform, or download a copy below.

Common queries

  • Q
    When I am looking to purchase dental practice software, what risk management functionality do I need to look for?
    18 August 2016

    From a risk management perspective, you should look for ease of printing all relevant patient record information, ideally with a single click. Many current computer systems do not easily print out the whole record. It is also important to be able to print out historical information, such as earlier dental charts and periodontal records.

    Many systems currently only print out the most recent chart. As well as the accurate chronological reproducibility of the complete patient record you might also want to consider the ability to print out individual patient treatment plan summaries and pricing that can be offered to the patient to sign at the time of the initial examination.

    In addition the system needs to back up to a remote site to ensure data can be restored following an unexpected system failure or service interruption.

  • Q
    Why should I explain my infection control procedures to patients?
    20 July 2016

    Patients are likely to be a lot more aware of infection control issues following the recent publicity surrounding a look back exercise involving 20,000 dental patients in the UK. If the cost of their dental care increases, patients are likely to be more critical in their choice of dental care provider. Choice and quality are two of the most important components of consumerism.

    Patients who have come to appreciate the steps that are being taken by a practice to ensure their safety will be far less likely to move to another practice where it is not immediately obvious that the same standards of infection control apply.

    Many of those patients who move from one practice to another never tell the original practice why they have left. They often have unspoken concerns and dissatisfaction and these can include doubts over infection control and the quality of care generally. A visible infection control policy and a willingness to explain to patients what is being done for their safety, and why, can address concerns and reinforce the patient’s decision to stay with the practice.

    A deliberately high-profile and visible commitment to infection control can also help to justify a patient’s perception of value, especially if they have just agreed to pay privately for their dental care.

    There are many different ways to get the point across – a poster in the waiting room or a page on your website can outline the basic principles. You can also reinforce the message every time you open bagged instruments from the steriliser or a new set of instruments by mentioning that they have just been sterilised. Disposable, single use items can also be pointed out to patients instead.

    It is paradoxical that patients may be questioning standards of cross infection control in dentistry at a time when they are generally higher and safer than ever before.

    Topics of inadequate infection control make good stories and help sell newspapers. Take the initiative and get your own story out there first.

    With the help of the rest of the dental team, share the evidence of your own infection control measures with patients before they even have to ask. Whether it is new gloves or the large quantity of disposable item that are used – each of these topics can be turned to a marketing advantage. 
  • Q
    The Dental Council has produced a new Code of Practice Relating to Infection Prevention and Control. Do I have to comply with this new code?
    20 July 2016

    All dentists and their teams have a responsibility to protect their health and the health of patients from the risk of infectious diseases. Failure to comply with the Code of Practice Relating to Infection Prevention and Control may result in fitness to practise proceedings being taken under the Dentists Act, 1985.

    Dentists and their teams are advised to review the new Code and to assess their current procedures and any changes they need to implement to enable them to comply with the document.

    Although it is not yet clear how the Dental Council intends to review a Registrant’s compliance with the Code, all Registrants now have a good reason to ensure that they can demonstrate compliance.

    Some points to note:

    The practice principal or manager must nominate a Decontamination Lead to ensure that:

    • All staff involved in infection prevention and control are suitably trained;
    • The infection prevention and control system is established and monitored;
    • All roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. (para 7.1)

    All practices must establish and maintain:

    • Safety Statement;
    • IPC policy document. (para 7.2)

    All dental staff involved in patient care must receive appropriate and ongoing training in infection prevention and control. Details of this training must be kept on record. (para 5.1)

    All dental practices must have written protocols which establish and help maintain a safe, healthy working environment for all staff. (para 1.3.2)

    These protocols should include practice policies that must address the following separate and distinct elements:

    • Immune status 
    • The prevention of injuries that may expose those working in a dental environment to blood borne diseases. All dental practices must have a protocol for dealing with exposure prevention and post-exposure management.

    All dental practices must have a formal, written infection prevention and control policy document which is site-specific and which reflects European Union and national legislative requirements and practice guidelines. The policy should reflect the recommendations developed by Expert Groups and Competent Authorities (e.g. the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and the Health Service Executive (HSE)). It should address IPC education and training for all DHCWs. The written policies and procedures must include reporting, risk assessment and medical follow-up following occupational exposures (eg. percutaneous or needlestick injuries). (para 2.2)

    All current dental practices must have a suitable local decontamination area (LDA), while best practice requires that dental practices should have a separate local decontamination unit (LDU). (para 3.1.1)

    The LDA must allow for the separation of clean and dirty instruments, must be clearly zoned and must be as far as possible from the patient.

    All new dental premises opened after 1 January 2016 must have a separate decontamination room (LDU) and must at least be fitted out to provide for a washer-disinfector; also a separate decontamination room (LDU) must be included in the plans for the extension of any existing dental premises into a larger area.

    All existing practices should, where possible, have a plan to progress towards the establishment of an LDU.

    All practices must maintain the following documents for eight years:

    • Validation and service reports for decontamination equipment;
    • Log book for each autoclave, recording daily and weekly tests and, preferably, the cycle number and date of sterilisation of each load;
    • Waste transfer forms;
    • Staff training log;
    • Audit reports;
    • Pressure vessel tests.

    Read Dental Protection’s briefing document on the Sharps Regulations 2014 for more information.