Australian dental therapists may expand scope of practice
Efforts are under way to allow the more than 1,500 dental therapists in Australia to provide dental care within their existing scope of clinical practice to adults ages 26 and older without the prescription or supervision of a dentist. Dental therapists in Australia have been providing basic dental treatment to children in the public sector under the supervision of dentists since the 1960s. In 1999, Australian authorities allowed these therapists to work in the private sector as well, and in 2002 their role was further expanded, enabling them to provide dental services — including irreversible procedures — to anyone up to the age of 25.
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