(2) what guidance he has issued on the role of clinical dental technicians in the NHS;
(3) what assessment he has made of the role of clinical dental technicians in improving oral health in England; and if he will make a statement.
Evidence from overseas countries like Canada, where clinical dental technicians (CDTs) have been able to work legally for much longer than in the United Kingdom, indicate that they can make a very worthwhile contribution to the treatment needs of patients with dentures.
The General Dental Council (GDC) provided for the registration of CDTs with effect from July 2006 and so far, some 80 CDTs are registered with the GDC. It is too early to make a detailed assessment of their impact, but we are examining the role of CDTs in relation to national health service primary care dental services. Currently a primary care trust may contract with a registered CDT to provide NHS primary care dental services under the personal dental services regulations or with a CDT, working in partnership with a dentist, under the general dental services regulations.