Team working in dental care
Figure 42.1 The dental team.
Individuals in the dental team will vary in different settings but will include many of the following:
• Dental nurse
• Oral health educator
• Dental hygienist or hygiene-therapist
• Dental technician
• Practice manager
• General dental practitioner
• Specialist periodontist
• Medical practitioner and specialists
• Other dental specialists.
Figure 42.2 Example of working together in the dental team.
Figure 42.3 Communication within the dental team.
Periodontal therapy offers an excellent opportunity for the dental team to deliver patient care (Fig. 42.1). All members of the team need to be clear about their roles within the team and good communication is required so that health messages and practice policies are consistent (Figs. 42.2, 42.3). Additional training, duties that can be undertaken, and the registration of qualifications continue to change with time and differ across the world. Readers are referred to the websites of the appropriate country or state governing dental bodies for up-to-date information.
The dentist is the team leader and has the following responsibilities:
• The coordination and responsibility for the overall care of the patient and work of the team.
• Informing the patient of the diagnosis and prognosis.
• Discussing the options available to the patient.
• Drawing up a treatment plan.
• Identifying other members of the team who will play a part.
• Writing prescriptions for the oral health educator, dental hygienist, dental therapist and dental technician.
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