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News / December 10, 2010

New Codes of Practice issued by Dental Council

by Guy Hiscott

The Dental Council of Ireland has published a number of new guidance documents to benefit both dental professionals and patients.

The newly available guides are:

• Guidance to the public in choosing a dentist
This will help patients to choose a dentist, including information for patients who may consider travelling abroad for treatment.

• Code of Practice regarding non-surgical cosmetic procedures
Following the Dental Council’s decision that non-surgical cosmetic procedures are not the practice of dentistry, this Code of Practice sets out the parameters under which such treatments may be performed. 

• Code of Practice pertaining to public relations and communications
This refined and expanded version of the Code of Practice relating to public relations and communications explores, among other issues, the use of titles by dentists, the use of patient testimonials and photographs, websites, media articles (including the use of advertorials) and product endorsement.

• Guidance regarding the use of ionising radiation
The Dental Council has established clinical audit criteria, protocols for standard radiological practice, diagnostic reference levels and dose constraints for helpers in line with its statutory duties and responsibilities with regard to the use of ionising radiation for dental purposes under Statutory Instrument 478 of 2002: The European Communities (Medical Ionising Radiation Protection) Regulations.

The Council has also prohibited the use of vertex occlusal projections in dentistry.

The Dental Council will be publishing more information concerning ionising radiation in due course and all registrants should check the Council’s website for updates.

• Scope of practice
This document describes the tasks that each member of the dental team is legally entitled to perform. Practitioners are reminded that they must only do what they are trained and competent to perform.

The Dental Council reminds all those on the dental register that they have an obligation to comply with all of the Codes of Practice.

The new Codes of Practice and guidance documents can be accessed at