Dentists protest at plans to give dental hygienists a bigger role

Female Dentist Adjusting Electric Light At ClinicPatients will be the victims of the government’s plans to allow dental hygienists to perform simple fillings, the Dutch dentists’ association said on Tuesday.

The plan will lead to higher healthcare costs, unnecessary pain and uncertainty for patients about who does what, the dentists said in a policy document for parliament.

Currently dental hygienists are only allowed to fill cavities when instructed by a dentist, but health minister Edith Schippers plans to allow them to operate independently, without the advice of a qualified dentist.

Dental hygienists have been trained to carry out simple fillings for the past 10 years.

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