Dáil Éireann - Volume 530 - 08 February, 2001
Written Answers. - Dental Service.
Mr. S. Ryan Mr. S. Ryan
107. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason dental mechanics and denturists may not provide dentures to the public under the Dentists' Act, 1928. [3511/01]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Under section 53 of the Dentists' Act, 1985, the Dental Council may make a scheme for establishing classes of auxiliary dental workers who may undertake dental work as shall be specified by the council.
 The Dental Council is largely independent in the exercise of its functions under the Dentists' Act, 1985. There are powers available to me under section 55 of the Act to direct the council to produce a scheme for a particular class of auxiliary dental worker but the content of such a scheme is primarily a matter for it. While such schemes are subject to my consent, I do not have powers of amendment.
The question of regulating the practice of denturism has been the subject of protracted correspondence between my Department and the Dental Council. In 1993, at the instigation of my Department, the council submitted a draft scheme for a class of auxiliary dental worker, to be known as clinical dental technician. However, this draft scheme did not adequately address the existing situation of technicians engaged in the practice of denturism for a number of years who would have acquired a level of competence in the appropriate clinical and other skills required. With this in mind, my Department asked the council to examine the issue further.
A new Dental Council was appointed in November 2000. I understand that its Auxiliary Dental Workers' Committee has already set up a small group to examine this issue to enable the council to reply to my Department at the earliest opportunity.
Dáil Éireann 530 Written Answers. Dental Service.