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Orthodontic Therapists

The Work of an Orthodontic Therapist

Orthodontic Therapists carry out certain parts of orthodontic treatment which may only be carried out under the supervision of a dentist registered in the Orthodontic division of the Register of Dental Specialists (hereinafter referred to as an orthodontist) and any such dental work shall only be carried out after the orthodontist has examined the patient and has indicated to the orthodontic therapist the course of treatment to be provided for the patient.

According to the Dental Council's Scope of Practice an Orthodontic Therapist may undertake the following dental work: 

  1. supragingival cleaning and polishing of teeth. Give oral hygiene advice prior to and during orthodontic treatment;
  2. take impressions, bite registration and photographs;
  3. fit passive removable orthodontic appliances, including space maintainers and retainers;
  4. fit active or activated removable appliances, including myofunctional appliances, after initial insertion and/or activation by the orthodontist;
  5. fit orthodontic headgear, including facebows, after initial insertion by the orthodontist;
  6. provide advice on the placement and care of orthodontic appliances, including the application of materials to relieve trauma or discomfort;
  7. place and remove of orthodontic separators;
  8. fit and cement orthodontic bands;
  9. place bonded orthodontic attachments as prescribed by the orthodontist;
  10. insert and ligate archwires and archwire auxiliaries as instructed by the orthodontist;
  11. remove ligatures and archwires;
  12. remove orthodontic bands and bonded attachments;
  13. remove excess cement and adhesive following banding/bonding and debanding/debonding procedures.

Education

As there are no programmes approved in Ireland for the purposes of registration in the Orthodontic Therapy Register the Dental Council has decided that the procedure set out below will be applied to its consideration of any UK based training programme submitted for approval as a registrable programme in the orthodontic therapist register. This is to allow Irish dental nurses to obtain a UK qualification while undergoing their clinical training in Irish based Orthodontic practices. 

Procedure for the approval of UK based orthodontic therapy programmes

  1. In considering a programme the Council will approve both the academic programme and the practice in which the supervised training will take place.

    1. Orthodontists must first submit the academic programme for approval by the Council as providing the theoretical instruction necessary to undertake the work of an orthodontic therapist.
    2. If the academic programme is approved the Dental Council must then approve the practice in where the supervised clinical training will be undertaken. The Dental Council will visit the proposed practice in advance of approval being granted.
       
  2. Any clinical instruction or training provided before a programme is approved by the Dental Council will be disregarded for the purposes of considering an applicant’s suitability for registration. 

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