Minister to allow dental hygienists to put in simple fillings, drill teeth

Government suggestions that dental hygienists be allowed to carry out simple fillings and other procedures have been condemned by dentists’ organisations as incomprehensible.

Health minister Bruno Bruins plans to allow dental hygienists to take over some of the simpler tasks done by dentists to free them up for more complicated work.

But dentists’ organisations say neither dentists nor patients back the plan. ‘The concept is completely incomprehensible,’ said KNMT spokeswoman Dianne Paarhuis.

‘Dentists don’t want to work with independent dental hygienists and patients are not keen either, according to a survey by the patients’ lobby group Patientenfederatie. And insurance companies say it will only drive up costs.’

The minister plans to launch a five year experiment widening dental hygienists’ areas of competence in 2020.