What Is a Denturist?
Denturists are primary health care providers who work directly with patients who require replacement of one or more teeth. Denturists are trained in both intraoral procedures (clinic procedures) and the associated laboratory procedures for the required treatments.
What Services Do Denturists Provide?
Denturists provide complete and partial denture treatments including those on dental implants. In Alberta, denturists are the main provider to seniors for complete and partial denture treatments; however, denturists provide services to people of all ages including some children.
Denturists do one or more of the following:
- Assess, diagnose and treat persons missing some or all of their natural teeth.
- Design, construct, repair, alter and fit any complete or partial denture for the purpose of restoring and maintaining function and appearance.
- Provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations. (See the Health Professions Act)
Where Do Denturists Practice?
Denturists usually provide their services from stand-alone clinics, but some are in joint clinics with dentists and some provide services to long-term care facilities, hospitals and home care sites.
Denturists have “in-house laboratories” where they complete the majority or all of the laboratory work related to their services.
What Training Does a Denturist Have?
In Alberta as of the fall of 2007, denturists currently undergo a three-year training program:
- First & Second years: training in the Denturist Technology Program from the Health Sciences Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton
- Third year: is a clinical placement training administered by the Denturist Technology Program from the Health Sciences Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, as well, the students return to the Institute for additional courses
Note: students provide patient services, but only when they are supervised by the authorized preceptor.
Upon completion of these thee years and if the students graduate from the program, then the students are required to successfully challenge the provincial licensure examinations before they can become a regulated member and provide services independently.
Prior to this Three-year program, Alberta had a two-plus-two program, where students trained at the Denturist Technology Program from the Health Sciences Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton in the former two-year program, then were required to enter into a College approved two-year internship with a regulated member. These individuals were "Intern Members" and upon completion of the internship, they were required to successfully challenge the provincial licensure examinations.
There are currently a small number of intern members remaining in Alberta, who are in the process of completing their internship and subsequently, challenging the licensure examinations. Interns provide patient services, but only when they are supervised by their authorized preceptor.