The UK law on dentures has been through a major change recently, how does this affect the small dental laboratories that may have provided a denture service directly to denture wearers?
Illegal. Has been for a long time and is now being regulated with new laws to clamp down on the renegade dental technicians that prey on an unsuspecting public.
OK, maybe that’s going too far, as all the dental Technicians I have ever met are just trying to do one thing, provide a decent set of dentures at a fair price to their customers, some of whom they have known for many years.
But the era of inexpensive dentures may be over as the small Labs and technicians are scared off by the heavy fines and criminal proceedings now being brought in to deter these denture felons.
So what does the new law say?
Only registered dentists and registered Clinical Dental Technicians (Not common or garden dental technicians) can now make dentures directly for the public.
This is not a lot different from the old law in fact, which stated that only dentists could make dentures directly for the public, so whats happened?
The General Dental Council, that august body that looks after all our teeth and makes sure that no dental treatment costs less than a swiss watch has deemed it necessary to elevate all staff currently working in dentistry to the status of professional and charge them a hefty registration fee. This is marvellous for their coffers but try telling a dental nurse on minimum wage that they need to pay to be a professional dental nurse.
I know many dental nurses who would rather be unprofessional and keep the money.
A new class of Technician was introduced, A clinical dental technician. This is where the trouble all started and has ended up with a dental technician doing a course as long and expensive as it could be, almost on a par with a dentists course at university, to get a qualification to be able to make a Full set of dentures. Not partial dentures or any other kind, just Full dentures.
Of course these laws have been brought in to protect the public, my thoughts are different. These laws will increase the costs of dentures exponentially as the competition to the extortionist rates that dentists charge will disappear.