Direct Access

SpaDental has directed you to this page because you have booked a Direct Access Appointment to see a Dental Care Professional (DCP) without first seeing a dentist. Prior to your appointment, we must ensure you know the DCP* you will see is a trained professional with a wide skill set, but not a dentist.

What is direct access?

SpaDental has direct access arrangements that allow patients to see a DCP without a prescription from a dentist.  Direct access offers greater flexibility and choice for many patients, whether you are an existing SpaDental patient or a new patient looking for treatment. In most instances the DCPs offering direct access services will be a Dental Hygienist or Dental Therapist. Due to NHS regulations, direct access is only available to patients paying privately. 

Treatments carried out by a DCP are in addition to a dentist’s services.

Therefore:

What does a DCP do?

A DCP delivers direct access treatments within their Scope of Practice, individual knowledge, skills and experience to practice safely and effectively in the best interests of patients.

What do patients need to know?

What is the difference between a dental therapist and a dental hygienist?

Dental hygienists are trained to carry out clinical examinations and oral cancer screening.  Hygienists assess the health of your gums, providing preventative oral care advice. They work to prevent and treat gum disease with scaling, polishing and root care to remove hard deposits and plaque.   Oral care advice can include demonstrating correct flossing and brushing, as well as other oral hygiene techniques according to your personal requirements. They also offer dietary advice and other information, such as how to give up smoking. Research shows that patients who regularly visit the hygienist suffer from fewer dental problems in the long term. 

Dental therapists are able to carry out all the duties of a hygienist and can also complete simple restorations (fillings) on both adults and children. They can take x-rays, provide intra and extra oral assessments, complete more complex restorations on children’s teeth, and also extract primary teeth. Therapists also offer emergency temporary replacements of crowns and fillings, thereby helping patients access treatment when they need it. 

Team work supports direct access

Our teams work closely together. If your hygienist or therapist finds you require treatment beyond their scope of practice, or identifies a concern that needs further investigation, they will refer you to the dentist, or a relevant health practitioner, for advice and guidance.

Please remember:

Appointments via direct access to your dental therapist or hygienist are a valuable addition to seeing your own dentist on a regular basis.  It is important that you continue to see your own dentist for regular examinations, as the check-up provided by your dentist is more comprehensive than can be provided under direct access.   

Get in touch

If you have further questions about direct access, please ask. 

Notes:

* For simplicity, we use the term Dental Care Professional (DCP) on this page to refer to members of the dental team registered with the GDC as either dental therapists or dental hygienists.

 

July, 2022

If you feel unwell, please get in touch before you come in for your appointment. One of our team will advise you.