Watchdog takes steps to ensure proper supervision

Dentists under conditional registration are supposed to work under supervision in the same clinic as the supervisor.
Dentists under conditional registration are supposed to work under supervision in the same clinic as the supervisor. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore Dental Council (SDC), the dental professional watchdog, has been having trouble ensuring that dentists here under conditional registration are supervised properly.

Dentists under conditional registration are supposed to work under supervision in the same clinic as the supervisor. But some dentists on conditional registration did work on their own, without supervision.

After it had sent out several circulars since 2014 to remind dentists of the need for proper supervision, SDC decided to change the requirement. Since Feb 15 this year, dentists under conditional registration must have two supervising dentists "to ensure that dentists under conditional registration are being supervised at all times".

This was announced in a circular in January, which said the change is being made "in view of the increasing number of complaints received and non-compliance relating to the supervision of dentists under conditional registration".

Dentists working here under conditional registration are mostly graduates from an approved foreign university. They are usually required to work for two years under supervision before they can apply for full registration.

The SDC's latest annual report, for 2015, said there were 297 conditionally registered dentists here, out of a total of 2,060 - or roughly 15 per cent of all dentists.

Of the newly registered dentists that year, 48 graduated from the National University of Singapore, while 169 were foreign-trained.

 

The vast majority of dentists under conditional registration work in the private sector.

Of the 84 complaints the SDC received in 2015, six were about oral health therapists, conditional dentists and supervisors.

Salma Khalik

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Watchdog takes steps to ensure proper supervision'. Print Edition | Subscribe