The oral health therapy scope of practice came into effect today, 1 November 2017.
Congratulations to all 440 oral health therapists who gained registration in the new scope today. We will be issuing new registration and practising certificates to all newly-registered oral health therapists over the next week.
These new certificates will replace their registration and practising certificates relating to the dental hygiene and/or dental therapy scopes of practice. The old certificates will no longer be valid.
For both the affected practitioners and practice managers, please remember to:
replace publicly displayed certificates with the new ones
update practice information, for example name tags, staff lists and advertising
update practice website information
We are in the process of developing an electronic brochure providing basic information on the new scope for the public, which we will provide to all practitioners so you may display or share as you choose.
Our application to have oral health therapy recognised as a profession is progressing. The final step is for Cabinet to approve the legislative change. Due to the election and the effect of this on Parliamentary sitting dates, this is not likely to happen until after the scope has come into effect but we expect it to be complete by the end of the year.
Our application to the Medicines Classification Committee to reclassify local anaesthetic medicines articaine, lignocaine and prilocaine, with or without felypressin, for oral health therapists, has been approved and the new classifications published in the New Zealand Gazette.
Our last application, to add oral health therapists to the Radiation Safety Regulations list of health practitioners exempted from the need of a use licence, similar to other oral health practitioners where radiography forms part of their scope of practice, has been approved. Again, we expect the legislative change to be complete by the end of the year.