The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) describes a scope of practice as the health service that a practitioner registered in that scope of practice is permitted to perform, subject to any conditions for the time being imposed by the responsible authority.
The Council publishes a scope of practice as a Notice in the New Zealand Gazette under section 11 of the Act.
Scope of practice for dental technology
The practice of dental technology involves the processes and procedures associated with the design, manufacture and repair of fixed and removable oral and extra-oral appliances and prostheses prescribed by a practising health practitioner1, and carried out in accordance with this scope of practice and a dental technician’s approved education, training, experience and competence2.
Dental Technology practice includes:
- selection of appropriate dental materials for the design, manufacture and repair of fixed and removable oral and extraoral appliances and prostheses prescribed by a practising dental specialist, dentist, clinical dental technician, medical practitioner or other practising health practitioner
- processes and procedures associated with the design, manufacture and repair of:
- complete removable dentures and overdentures
- removable partial dentures including precision attachments
- fixed and removable orthodontic appliances
- crowns and bridges including precision attachments on natural teeth and implants
- implant overdentures and implant supported dentures
- tissue and implant supported maxillofacial, ocular and auricular appliances and prostheses, and other appliances and prostheses involved in the overall prosthetic rehabilitation of patients
- specialist treatment appliances such as, but not limited to: diagnostic stents and radiographic stents, appliances for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders, appliances for the treatment of speech disorders, appliances for the treatment of sleep disorders and appliances for the treatment of audio disorders.
- undertaking shade taking and shade checking, which may include the removal of a pre- loosened temporary restoration and try-in of the permanent restoration, without removal or placement of an abutment, as prescribed by and prior to the final fitting3 by a dentist or dental specialist.
Practice in this context goes wider than dental technology practice to include teaching, research, and management, given that such roles influence clinical and technical practice and public safety. Areas of dental technology practice that were not included in a practitioner’s training should not be undertaken unless the practitioner has completed appropriate training and practices to the standard required by the Standards Framework for Oral Health Practitioners.
1 Appliances and prostheses are prescribed by a practising dentist, dental specialist, clinical dental technician, medical practitioner or other practising health practitioner
2 The working relationship between dental technicians and prescribing health practitioners is set out in the relevant Dental Council Practice Standard
3 Final fitting for dental technicians means ensuring the patient returns to the prescribing dentist /dental specialist as soon as possible on the same day for the refitting of the temporary or permanent restoration
Prescribed qualifications for the dental technology scope of practice