Specialist Dentistry Services Educate General Dental Practice Staff

The Oral Health Improvement Team and Public Health England jointly host this course to develop a more preventively focussed dental workforce. They are supported in delivery of the course by clinicians’ from the Special Care Dental Service and the Consultant in Dental Public Health for Cumbria. Ten Dental Care Professionals from General Dental Practices across Cumbria are studying for the qualification which enables them to apply fluoride varnish following a prescription from a dentist. The treatment is prescribed to arrest decay in patients of all ages, children, elderly and those with extra needs.

As well as this practical skill, the students are also examined on providing chairside oral health advice that takes into account socio-demographic factors as well as individual lifestyle behaviours and choices. The standard key messages of brushing twice daily with an appropriate fluoride toothpaste, reducing the amount and frequency of sugary foods and drinks and regular dental visits all still need to be emphasized in conjunction with fluoride varnish applications. It is one module of a Health Improvement Programme delivered by Public Health annually that focus on prevention and education which reduces the risk of dental decay which benefits patients and the wider NHS in reducing treatments. The application of fluoride by dental nurses is an extended duty made permissible as a consequence of recent changes within the General Dental Council Scope of Practice regulations for dental nurses. Once the course is complete participants will be presented with certificates in January.