Our practice-related resources provide important guidance for registrants in meeting the standards of practice. Denturists are responsible for reading BCCOHP’s publications to ensure they are aware of current news and of BCCOHP policies, standards and guidelines.
This section describes the standards to which denturists are expected to practice in British Columbia.
The practice of denturism means:
A registrant must demonstrate, at all times, a level of knowledge which ensures the adequate protection of the public. Areas of requisite knowledge include:
This section contains the College code of ethics. This code forms part of the bylaws, but is presented separately in this section due to its importance to all registrants.
Every registrant is charged with the duty to uphold the honour and dignity of the profession of denturism and to adhere strictly to the principles set forth in this code.
The profession is given the privilege of self-governance under the Act and, accordingly, registrants must understand the Act, the regulations, and the bylaws and must strictly observe or perform their duties and obligations thereunder.
To uphold and advance the honour and dignity of the profession and its high standards of ethical conduct, registrants must:
The duty of the registrants to the public includes:
The duty of registrants to patients includes:
Registrants may treat patients only when they are qualified by training or experience to carry out the treatment plan. Registrants must always be willing to check their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis by consultation with fellow practitioners or specialist in the field of dentistry or medicine pertaining to the case under consideration. Registrants must be willing to refer a patient when advisable.
Registrants must protect the health of their patients at all times by not delegating or referring any duty or procedure to a person who is not qualified to perform such duty or procedure by skill or training, or by licensure if required under the Act, the regulations or these bylaws, and by not condoning or being a party to such delegations or referrals. Registrants must ensure the actions of all personnel within their employ or control comply with the Act, the regulations, and these bylaws.
Registrants must keep adequate records of all clinical findings, diagnosis and treatment with respect to each of their patients. When a registrant who is presently treating a patient requests records for another registrant who has formerly treated the patient, the registrant must make copies of those records available to the attending registrant only where the patient has instructed that the records be transmitted and has given his/her consent for their release.
A registrant who is providing service to the former patient of another registrant should make every effort to obtain a copy of the patient’s records from the previous registrant.
The duty of registrants to the profession includes:
Registrants should not:
In the event of a consultation, registrants should render only the treatment which was specifically requested.
On February 24, 2020, the Ministry of Health announced amendments to the regulations (scope of practice statements) for dental hygienists, dental technicians, denturists and dentists. One significant change that may affect the provision of services provided by denturists is the amended definition of prescription.
The Denturists Regulation now defines a prescription as “an authorization, issued by a person who is authorized under the Act to prescribe a partial denture or overdenture, to dispense a partial denture or overdenture for use by a named individual”.
An authorization is permission or authority to do something.
Dentists are authorized under the Health Professions Act to prescribe a partial denture or overdenture as part of the patient’s treatment plan. The dentist and denturist must work collaboratively to ensure the treatment options are appropriate.
The authorization can be provided by a written prescription from the dentist for the patient or over the phone following the collaborative care discussions between the dentist and the denturist.
The decision to prescribe a partial denture or overdenture will be based on collaborative discussion and decision-making amongst the patient, the denturist and the dentist. This process will serve to enhance collaborative care amongst the entire dental team. Collaborative care includes pre-treatment assessment of the patient and review of the patient’s medical record by all parties, and determination through discussion between the denturist and dentist of the patient’s needs for and expectation of the partial or overdenture. The denturist and the dentist each must take responsibility according to their scope of practice.
If the prescription requires a dental technician to assist with the development of a partial denture or overdenture, the dental technician must review the prescription and be included in the discussion with the rest of the oral healthcare team and the patient.
When a dentist creates a prescription, they must only authorize or request procedures with which they are familiar. This ensures that they are aware that the authorization or request is reasonable under the prevailing conditions, and that they would be able to assist with the management of circumstances that may occur during the completion of the prescription. If they are unfamiliar with the procedures or conditions potentially addressed by the prescription, the dentist should refer the patient to a practitioner with experience providing that service.
When a denturist receives a prescription, they must confirm that they understand the content of the prescription, and that they have the education, training, acquired skills, equipment and materials to undertake that portion of the work or treatment for which they will be responsible. If a denturist does not have the required competencies, they should refer the patient to another practitioner with experience providing that service.
The denturist must examine the patient to ensure they are in suitable condition for the treatment to be undertaken. Where circumstances appear to be unsuitable for placement of a prosthesis, a discussion with the prescribing dentist is necessary. For example:
A dentist may choose to issue a prescription for a given patient to cover a specific timeframe (e.g. three to six months). If this is the case, it is expected that the denturist will review, update and document the patient’s medical status as well as revisit and determine the need for the partial denture or overdenture prior to dispensing. The denturist must engage the prescribing dentist in discussion should any changes be required.
It is expected the patient’s treatment record will include:
On February 24, 2020, the Ministry of Health announced amendments to the regulations (scope of practice statements) for denturists. One significant change that may affect the provision of services by denturists is the definition of fit, specifically implant overdentures.
It is important to note that the guidance is to be referenced alongside the denturist regulations and interpretive guidance for the definition of prescription. These three documents make up the standards, limits and conditions for implant overdentures to ensure high quality practice and protection of the public.
The Denturist Regulation now defines fit as “means to perform any non-surgical intra-oral procedure related to dispensing a denture, including the making of impressions”.
What is an overdenture?
An overdenture means a dental prosthesis that replaces natural teeth, is removable by the patient and is (a) attached to or supported by implants, or (b) attached to, supported by or covers retained roots or natural teeth.
A registrant in the course of practising denturism may dispense or fit an overdenture but only for the purpose of implementing a prescription.
Denturist records should include:
To clarify BCCOHP’s bylaws and ensure that advertisements are honest, truthful and transparent.
The bylaws state,
Below are policy statements on the following topics:
The corporate logo includes the use of visual identity, as well as the name of the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals.
Words that denote superiority of skills or exclusivity of technique are unacceptable.
Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
The term “implant” must be used in conjunction with “denture” or type of dental prosthesis.
“Dentures Over Implants”
“Implant Denture Specialist”
“Implant Supported Dentures / Prostheses”
In a September 17, 2011 motion, the Board grandfathered the use of the term “Implant Center/Centre” at five existing clinics where the registrant-owners were already using the term in the clinic’s business name. As long as the business name for any one of those five clinics includes the term “Implant Center/Centre”, the Board’s motion prohibits use of that name at a different location or with a different clinic and prohibits the sale of the name for use by any other registrant.
Any and all advertisements that state a number of years of experience must include specific information regarding that experience.
Please note that proof is required.
1) A registrant with six years of experience as a Dental Technician and three years of experience as a denturist.
Six years of experience as a Dental Technician and three years of experience as a Denturist.
Six years of experience
Six years of experience as a dental professional
2) A denture clinic that has been in operation since 1972.
In business since 1972
“’42 years’ experience” under the following circumstances:
Services outside the scope of Denturists may be advertised, however only under the strict condition that they must clearly identify which designated health professional provides the service.
Use of Coupons and/or Discounts
Coupons and/or discounts are a contravention of BCCOHP’s bylaws.
Infection prevention and control is an important part of safe patient care. BCCOHP’s practice standards state,
A registrant must demonstrate, at all times, a level of knowledge which ensures the adequate protection of the public. Areas of requisite knowledge are:
Denturists must maintain the standards of practice of the profession and, accordingly, must ensure that appropriate infection prevention and control procedures are carried out in their practices.
The British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals has adopted the Denturist Association of Canada’s infection control recommendations as the acceptable standards for infection prevention and control in a denturist’s practice.
It is the responsibility of the British Columbia of Oral Health Professionals (BCCOHP) to ensure that the public receives denturist services free from professional misconduct of a sexual nature, and that each patient is treated with respect.
Professional misconduct of a sexual nature is prohibited by law under the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the BC Human Rights Code and by the professional standards and guidelines of BCCOHP.
BCCOHP believes that the professional environment must protect the dignity and self-esteem of patients who seek the services of a registrant of BCCOHP, and must be free from misconduct of a sexual nature.
What Constitutes Professional Misconduct of a Sexual Nature?
Professional misconduct of a sexual nature includes unwelcome sexual attention, sexual solicitation or other sexually-oriented remarks or behaviour. It may be written, verbal, physical or psychological in nature. Both males and females may be the subject of sexual misconduct by members of either sex. Examples are:
The registrant-patient relationship is built on trust. The patient trusts that the registrant will treat them in a professional manner.
Sexual involvement of any kind is unacceptable in the registrant-patient relationship, even if the patient consents. BCCOHP does not condone romantic or sexual relationships between registrant and a current patient.
A Serious Offence
BCCOHP considers professional misconduct of a sexual nature to be a serious offence. It is subject to the full range of disciplinary measures available to BCCOHP, including fines and/or suspension.
Complaints concerning professional misconduct of a sexual nature will be investigated by the Inquiry Committee and any other necessary organization, such as the Police.
Filing a Complaint
Any complaint about a registrant of BCCOHP concerning professional misconduct of a sexual nature should be submitted to this page.
All formal allegations or complaints of sexual misconduct received will be dealt with in a fair, unbiased and timely manner with due consideration for the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved.
To ensure that registrants of the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals (BCCOHP) meet the standards related to patient recordkeeping. In addition, for registrants to review their current recordkeeping practices to confirm they comply with the recommendations outlined in this Guideline.
Registrants must meet the professional, ethical and legal patient recordkeeping requirements as outlined in BCCOHP’s bylaws. Specifically, it states:
To ensure that proper patient records are being kept, registrants should adhere to the following principles:
Confidentiality and Security
Under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of BC, rules and procedures have been established for the collection, use and care of patient personal information.
Section 7.02 of CDBC’s bylaws state that you must collect, dispose, and disclose patient information in accordance with PIPA, maintain the confidentiality of patient information, and ensure it is safely and securely stored and disposed of.
Registrants must keep patient records for a period of 16 years from the date of the last recorded entry.
Disclosure of Patient Records
Personal information or records of a patient cannot be disclosed unless:
The presence of complete, up-to-date and accurate patient records are vital in protecting registrants and their practice against a complaint or clinical negligence.
The purpose of continuing education is to ensure continued competence.
It is the responsibility of each registrant to ensure that continuing education courses, programs and activities reflect the purpose of continuing education, and when in doubt, to seek approval prior to participation. Also, it is the responsibility of each registrant to ensure that credit hours are accurately reported to the College.
In some instances, however, BCCOHP may certify a course, program or activity and assign continuing education credits in advance. Under some conditions, BCCOHP may also allow individuals or organizations who sponsor a course, program or activity to report on a registrant’s behalf.
Pre-Approval of a Continuing Education Course, Program or Activity
In order to ensure acceptance, a registrant planning to participate in, or an individual or organization planning to offer, a continuing education course, program or activity should request a review in advance of its being taken or offered. The request for pre-approval must be accompanied by the following information about the course, program or activity:
Certification of a Continuing Education Course, Program or Activity
BCCOHP can certify a course, program or activity as approved and assign it continuing education credits. Notification of certification may be used by the sponsor to inform potential attendees that a course, program or activity is approved and requires no additional review by BCCOHP.
To seek a certification review of a course, program or activity, a registrant or the individual or organization sponsoring the course, program or activity requests a certification review. The information listed above under “Pre-Approval of a Continuing Education Course, Program or Activity” must be submitted to the College. In addition, the method of registering attendees must be described.
Criteria for Approval or Certification of a Continuing Education Course, Program or Activity
BCCOHP uses the following criteria to determine whether or not to approve or certify a course, program or activity and the number of continuing education credits to assign to it:
Evidence of Certification
BCCOHP will provide a letter advising of the outcome of the certification review. When pre-approval has been granted, the letter suggests that it and a copy of these guidelines be displayed to inform registrants of the pre-approval and procedures to follow.
Duration of Certification
A course, program or activity retains its certification for a period of 3 years from the date of certification. BCCOHP may withdraw its certification at any time if the course, program or activity has changed the conditions under which the course, program or activity was approved for certification.
Submission of Proof of Attendance by a Registrant
A registrant must submit a signed receipt verifying attendance at the specific course, program or activity for which credit is being sought.
For conferences or larger programs, verification by an instructor of the actual session for which credit is being sought is required.
Submission of Proof of Attendance by Other than a Registrant
BCCOHP will accept proof of attendance from an individual or organization other than a registrant in cases where BCCOHP has authorized the individual or organization to submit this information. Proof of attendance is a signed copy of the register of a course, program or activity for which credit is being sought. The register must include an attendee’s signature at the beginning and end of the course, program or activity. The registrant should ensure that the individual or organization has been authorized by the College to submit proof of attendance on their behalf.
Forms for applying for continuing education credits are available through BCCOHP.
The British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals (BCCOHP) believes that the professional environment must protect the dignity and self- esteem of patients who seek the services of a registrant. BCCOHP is committed to ensuring that the public receives services from a registrant that are free from professional misconduct and that each patient is treated with respect.
The registrant is in a fiduciary relationship with his or her patients and, as such, has ethical and legal responsibilities to act in the patient’s best interests.
Professional boundaries must be established between the registrant and patient, ensuring that:
Registrants must always maintain appropriate professional boundaries in their relationship with patients. This supports objectivity and the ability to keep the patient’s interests as the primary focus for treatment and service delivery.
Professional judgement is required for registrants to make the best decision in determining professional boundaries. This can be difficult, since professional boundaries change over time depending on the person and the situation. For example, boundary crossings may be difficult to manage if a registrant is working in small, rural or remote areas where access to alternative health care providers is limited. However, there are circumstances in which it is never
acceptable to cross a professional boundary, such as entering into a sexual relationship with a current patient (refer to CDBC Policy: Misconduct of a Sexual Nature).
A boundary crossing occurs where you permit another type of relationship or feelings toward or from a patient to interfere with your professional registrant-patient relationship. Registrants must:
issue that cannot be adequately resolved, arrange for patient treatment and care by another registrant or appropriate health care professional and end the registrant-patient relationship, ensuring that the patient is not adversely affected by any interruption in denture care.
Be sure to document any boundary violation that occurs, including the action taken to re-establish the professional boundaries of the relationship.
An essential part to a registrant-patient relationship is the requirement for the registrant to obtain each patient’s informed consent in relation to any treatment being offered or provided by the registrant. Informed consent refers to the process where the registrant and patient engage in a conversation and/or documents are provided to the patient that describe the proposed treatment, consequences, benefits, risks and alternative treatment options.
Informed consent must be obtained at the beginning of the registrant-patient relationship and will continue as an ongoing process throughout the professional relationship.
The registrant-patient relationship is built on trust. When in the care of a registrant, the patient trusts that the registrant is a professional and will treat them in a professional manner. Exercising good professional judgement is essential in preventing violation of these boundaries.
BCCOHP does not condone the following registrant-patient relations:
Professional misconduct may include unwelcome sexual attention, sexual solicitation or other sexually oriented remarks or behaviour. It may be written, verbal, physical or psychological in nature. It is important to recognize that both males and females may be the subject of sexual misconduct by members of either sex. Professional misconduct of a sexual nature is prohibited by law under the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the BC Human Rights Code and by the professional standards and guidelines of BCCOHP. (Refer to BCCOHP Policy: Misconduct of a Sexual Nature.)
When accepting a gift from a patient, registrants are required to use good judgement and to consider the following questions:
Treating Family Members
Family members can be defined as a registrant’s spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent or grandchild. It may also be the
immediate family of a registrant’s spouse or partner. BCCOHP does not have a policy prohibiting the treatment of family members, however, if a registrant chooses to treat a family member, the following questions should be considered before treatment:
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, it is not advisable to proceed with treatment. If you consider treating a family member, that person should be treated with the same level of professionalism you would extend to any other patient.
There are many social media tools available for health care professionals, including, but not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and various blogging sites. These tools can be used to enhance professional networking and education, however, they also present potential risks. BCCOHP expects registrants to comply with professional expectations and the Code of Ethics when participating in social media platforms. Registrants are required to understand some of the potential risks when using social media outlets inappropriately, including.
BCCOHP considers any professional misconduct, including misconduct of a sexual nature, a serious offence. It is subject to the full range of disciplinary measures available to BCCOHP, including fines and/or suspensions. Complaints concerning professional misconduct of a sexual nature will be investigated by the Inquiry Committee and any other necessary organization, such as the police.
Filing a Complaint
Any complaint about a registrant of BCCOHP, including professional misconduct of a sexual nature, should be submitted here.
All formal allegations or complaints of misconduct received will be dealt with in a fair, unbiased and timely manner with due consideration for the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved.
The British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals’ (BCCOHP) guidelines for educational activities stipulate that educational activity leaders and product educators/demonstrators must be qualified in order for registrants to receive approval for the educational activity. The quality assurance committee reviews qualifications on request.
The following criteria are used. Educational Activity Leaders must:
Product Educators/Demonstrators must:
This section provides a brief history of denturist governance and a graphic representation of the legal framework for denturist practice in British Columbia.
Effective December 5, 1995, governance of denturists in British Columbia was repealed from the Dental Technicians and Denturists Act and established under the Health Professions Act. The governing body created under the authority of this Act is the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals.
Responsibility for “self-regulation” by a profession has been delegated by government to members of that profession with the understanding that they have the specific expertise to govern appropriately. The privilege of setting one’s own rules emphasizes the important responsibility of ensuring that risk to the public is minimized.
The Health Professions Act, passed in 1990, provides legislation under which health professions will regulate themselves in this province. It allows for the establishment of colleges, sets out the responsibilities of boards of those colleges, and provides general direction regarding requirements for governing the members of the profession.
The Health Professions Act establishes the Health Professions Council. The Council is specifically tasked with the responsibility of reviewing any health profession applying to be regulated under this Act and recommending to the Minister of Health whether or not it is in the public interest for that health profession to be designated under this Act.
The Health Professions Council also may recommend to the Minister of Health the services that are allowed to be performed by a health profession and limitations on the performance of these services by registrants of that health profession. A copy of the Health Professions Act may be found in Section 10 of this handbook.
On recommendation of the Minister of Health, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate a health profession under the Health Professions Act. This regulation is specific to each health profession and may prescribe the name used by the body as well as the services that registrants may perform, including limitations and conditions on these services. A copy of the Denturists Regulation may be found in Section 10 of this page.
Each college designated by regulation under the Health Professions Act is required to create bylaws for the operation of the college. The Health Professions Act specifically lists the areas and tasks these bylaws may regulate for the college. Bylaws require approval by the Lieutenant Governor in Council by an Order in Council.
These bylaws establish the operational framework of the governing board, and include the duties and responsibilities of the board, qualifications required by registrants, investigation and discipline of registrants, standards of practice, and code of ethics. Registrants are encouraged to become familiar with these bylaws. The most current version is to be kept in Section 9 of this handbook.
The College is a public body under this Act. Many documents are public and releasable under this Act. Public documents are available from the College’s website. If documentation that you wish is not available there, please submit a written request to the Registrar indicating the records you are requesting.
Health Professions Act
Legislation that allows denturists, as a health profession, to be self-regulated.
Describes the duties and responsibilities of a college to the public and to the registrants.
Legislation which designates the BCCOHP as the governing body for denturists under the Health Professions Act.
Establishes the services and limitations on services provided by the denturist profession.
Governs the operation of the BCCOHP as well as the registration and licensure of denturists in British Columbia.
Freedom of Information/Protection of Privacy Act
The College is a public body under this Act.
Governs the operation of the BCCOHP as well as the registration and licensure of denturists in British Columbia.