Jersey dental law 'expensive and old fashioned'

Dentist Image copyright PA
Image caption Dentists say Jersey's dental laws make treatment more expensive for islanders

Out of date dentistry laws means patients are paying more money for treatment than on the mainland, members of Jersey's dental profession said.

Under 1961 legislation, dental work must be carried out by qualified dentists.

Some now want Jersey to follow the UK, where simple treatments can be carried out by dental hygienists more cheaply.

Health officials said new rules, which would require States approval, are in the process of being drafted.

On the mainland, simple fillings, teeth straightening or whitening can be done by dental therapists or hygienists.

Dr Jon Sproson, a dentist practising in Jersey, said: "The denial of these things to people in Jersey is clearly costing patients money and denying them access to services.

"That's wrong."

Dental professionals also say the existing regulations hamper recruitment because hygienists from outside the island see Jersey as restrictive.

Jersey native Katie Park trained in the UK but returned to work in the island.

She would be prosecuted if she carried out treatments in Jersey which she is qualified to offer in the mainland.

"You train to do something so you want to be able to do it," she said.

"The nature of dentistry is that we are going to need more and more hygienists and if they're not able to do what they're trained to do then why would they want to come here?"

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