Consumer watchdog uncovers dozens of illegal denturists

Recent CAI investigation finds more than 30 unregistered providers advertising denture services in the dublin area

A report by the Consumer's Association of Ireland (CAI) has found that there is inadequate patient protection in the provision of dentures in Ireland with unregistered, unregulated providers potentially treating patients.

When clinical dental technicians (CDT) came on the scene in 2008 it was hoped that this newly qualified and registered profession would increase competition and deliver better value and choice for patients. However, since their introduction only 15 CDTs have qualified and registered with the Dental Council.

The CAI believe this has led to a situation whereby unqualified denturists are providing dentures directly to patients. In the Dublin area they identified 35 providers advertising denture services, but only five are on the Dental Council register. The association contacted a random sample of the unregistered providers and asked if they would provide dentures to a relative to replace some missing teeth. Alarmingly, all but one said they would with over 80 per cent of providers in the CAI survey agreeing to provide dentures, despite not being registered.

A spokesman for the CAI said: "Our research uncovered that consumers are potentially exposed to unregulated and unregistered denture providers in Ireland. This leaves consumers potentially exposed to receiving denture treatment by those not adequately qualified to do so, potentially also compromising the oral health of consumers.

"We are advising consumers who have issues with their existing dentures to check their denturist is on the Dental Council's register. If consumers have now or in the past had issues they should report these to the Dental Council."