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Dentists Act 1984

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IVRestrictions on Practice of Dentistry and on Carrying on Business of Dentistry

The practice of dentistry

37Definition of practice of dentistry

(1)For the purposes of this Act, the practice of dentistry shall be deemed to include the performance of any such operation and the giving of any such treatment, advice or attendance as is usually performed or given by dentists; and any person who performs any operation or gives any treatment, advice or attendance on or to any person as preparatory to or for the purpose of or in connection with the fitting, insertion or fixing of dentures, artificial teeth or other dental appliances shall be deemed to have practised dentistry within the meaning of this Act.

(2)Dental work shall not be treated for the purposes of this Act as amounting to the practice of dentistry if it is undertaken under the direct personal supervision of a registered dentist—

(a)by a person recognised by a dental authority as a student of dentistry, or by a person recognised by a medical authority as a medical student, as part of a course of instruction approved by that authority for students of that kind, or as part of an examination so approved, or

(b)by any person as part of a course of instruction which he is following in order to qualify for membership of a class of dental auxiliaries or as part of examinations which must be passed in order to qualify for membership of a class of dental auxiliaries ;

but, subject to that, a person who undertakes dental work in the course of his studies (whether or not under the supervision of a registered dentist) shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as practising dentistry if he would have been treated for those purposes as practising dentistry if he had undertaken that work in the course of earning his livelihood.

(3)In this section "medical authority" means one of the universities and other bodies who choose appointed members of the General Medical Council.

38Prohibition on practice of dentistry by laymen

(1)A person who is not a registered dentist, a visiting EEC practitioner entered in the list of such practitioners, or a registered medical practitioner shall not practise or hold himself out, whether directly or by implication, as practising or as being prepared to practise dentistry.

(2)Any person who acts in contravention of subsection (1) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the fifth level on the standard scale.

(3)Summary proceedings for an offence under this section may be brought within the period of six months beginning with the date on which evidence sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to warrant the proceedings came to his knowledge; but no such proceedings shall be brought by virtue of this subsection more than two years after the commission of the offence.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) above a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor and stating the date on which such evidence as is mentioned in that subsection came to his knowledge shall be conclusive evidence of that date, and any certificate purporting to be so signed shall be taken to have been so signed unless the contrary is proved.

39Prohibition on use of practitioners' titles by laymen

(1)A person who is not a registered dentist, a visiting EEC practitioner entered in the list of such practitioners or a registered medical practitioner shall not take or use the title of dentist, dental surgeon or dental practitioner, either alone or in combination with any other word.

(2)No person shall take or use any title or description implying that he is a registered dentist unless he is a registered dentist.

(3)Any person who acts in contravention of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the fifth level on the standard scale.

Restrictions on carrying on the business of dentistry

40Definition of business of dentistry

(1)For the purposes of this Act a person shall be treated as carrying on the business of dentistry if, and only if, he or a partnership of which he is a member receives payment for services rendered in the course of the practice of dentistry by him or by a partner of his, or by an employee of his or of all or any of the partners.

(2)Notwithstanding subsection (1) above, the receipt of payments—

(a)by an authority providing national health services, or

(b)by a person providing dental treatment for his employees without a view to profit, or

(c)by a person providing dental treatment without a view to profit under conditions approved by the Secretary of State or the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland,

shall not constitute the carrying on of the business of dentistry for the purposes of this Act.

41Restriction on individuals

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, an individual who is not a registered dentist or a registered medical practitioner shall not carry on the business of dentistry unless he was engaged in carrying on the business of dentistry on 21st July 1955, and any individual who contravenes this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the fifth level on the standard scale.

(2)The exemption conferred by subsection (1) above on persons who were carrying on the business of dentistry on the date there mentioned shall not extend to any person who has at any time ceased to be a registered dentist in consequence of his name being erased from the register, or his registration in it being suspended, under section 27 above.

(3)This section shall not operate to prevent a person from carrying on the business of dentistry during any period for which his registration in the register is suspended by virtue of a direction under Part III of this Act or by virtue of an order under section 30(3)(b) or section 32 above; and subsections (4) and (6) below shall apply in relation to a person whose registration is so suspended as they apply in relation to a registered dentist.

(4)Where a registered dentist or registered medical practitioner who died after 3rd July 1956 was at his death carrying on a business or practice constituting the business of dentistry, this section shall not operate to prevent his personal representatives or his widow or any of his children, or trustees on behalf of his widow or any of his children, from carrying on the business of dentistry in continuance of that business or practice during the three years beginning with his death.

(5)Where a registered dentist or a registered medical practitioner who died before 4th July 1956 was at his death carrying on a business or practice constituting the business of dentistry, this section shall not operate to prevent his widow, or trustees on behalf of his widow, from carrying on the business of dentistry in continuance of that business or practice at any time during her life.

(6)Where a registered dentist or registered medical practitioner becomes bankrupt at a time when he is carrying on a business or practice constituting the business of dentistry, this section shall not operate to prevent his trustee in bankruptcy, or in Northern Ireland the official assignee, from carrying on the business of dentistry in continuance of that business or practice during the three years beginning with the bankruptcy.

42Restriction on bodies corporate

(1)No body corporate, other than one exempted under section 43 below, shall carry on the business of dentistry.

(2)Any body corporate contravening this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the third level on the standard scale.

(3)Where a body corporate is convicted of an offence under this section, every director and manager of the body shall, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge, be guilty of the like offence.

43Bodies corporate entitled to carry on business of dentistry

(1)A body corporate may, subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, carry on the business of dentistry if—

(a)it was carrying on the business of dentistry on 21st July 1955, and

(b)it carries on no business other than dentistry or some business ancillary to the business of dentistry, and

(c)a majority of the directors are registered dentists, and

(d)all its operating staff are either registered dentists or dental auxiliaries.

(2)Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) above shall not apply—

(a)to a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 or the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969, or

(b)to a body corporate coming into existence on the reconstruction of a body corporate carrying on business on the date mentioned in that paragraph, or coming into existence on the amalgamation of two or more such bodies.

(3)Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above shall not apply to a body corporate which was carrying on the business of dentistry before 28th July 1921 so as to prevent it from carrying on any business which that body was at that date lawfully entitled to carry on.

(4)Every body corporate carrying on the business of dentistry shall in every year transmit to the registrar a statement in the prescribed form containing the names and addresses of all persons who are its directors or managers or who perform dental operations in connection with its business, and if any such body corporate fails to do so, it shall be deemed to be carrying on the business of dentistry in contravention of the provisions of section 42 above.

(5)If a body corporate exempted by this section ceases at any time to carry on the business of dentistry, the exemption conferred by this section shall not extend to that body on any subsequent occasion when it carries on the business of dentistry.

(6)Nothing in this section shall prevent a body corporate from carrying on the business of dentistry in the circumstances mentioned in subsections (4), (5) and (6) of section 41 above, and subsection (4) above shall not apply in those circumstances.

(7)In this section " prescribed " means prescribed by regulations made by the Council.

44Withdrawal of privilege from body corporate

(1)Where—

(a)a body corporate has been convicted of an offence under section 42 above, or

(b)the name of a director of a body corporate has been erased from the register under section 27 above, or

(c)a director of a body corporate has been convicted under section 38 or 41 above,

the Professional Conduct Committee may, subject to subsection (3) below, direct that the exemption conferred by section 43 above shall cease to extend to that body corporate as from such date as the Committee may specify.

(2)Where—

(a)the name of a member of the operating staff of a body corporate has been erased from the register under section 27 above, and

(b)in the opinion of the Professional Conduct Committee the act or omission constituting the offence or serious professional misconduct on account of which his name was erased was instigated or connived at by a director of the body corporate, or, if the act or omission was a continuing act or omission, a director of the body corporate had, or reasonably ought to have had, knowledge of its continuance,

the Committee may, subject to subsection (3) below, direct that the exemption conferred by section 43 above shall cease to extend to that body corporate as from such date as the Committee may specify.

(3)The Professional Conduct Committee shall not take a case into consideration under subsection (1) or (2) above while proceedings by way of appeal are pending which may result in that subsection being rendered inapplicable in that case, nor during the period in which any such proceedings may be brought.

(4)Where the Professional Conduct Committee determine under subsection (1) or (2) above that the exemption conferred by section 43 above shall cease to extend to a body corporate, the Committee shall notify the body corporate of their determination and that body may, within twenty-eight days of the notification, in accordance with such rules as Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the purposes of this section, appeal to Her Majesty in Council—

(a)in the case of a determination under subsection (1) above, on the ground that, notwithstanding the conviction or (as the case may be) the erasure of the name, the Committee's decision was unjustified;

(b)in the case of a determination under subsection (2) above, on the ground that the opinion of the Committee as to the matters referred to in paragraph (b) of that subsection was incorrect or that, although that opinion was correct, the Committee's decision was unjustified.

(5)The provisions of sections 29 and 30(1) and (2) above shall, with the necessary modifications, apply for the purposes of subsection (4) above as they apply in relation to an appeal under section 29 against a determination of the Professional Conduct Committee.

(6)References in this section to the erasure of the name, or to the conviction, of a director of a body corporate include references to the erasure of the name, or to the conviction, of any person who was a director of a body corporate at the time of the offence or misconduct leading to the erasure or conviction.

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