I’m a newly qualified dentist – when can I start practicing facial aesthetics?

In recent years, many dentists have chosen to enter the exciting realm of facial aesthetics. With their clinical training, understanding of facial anatomy, and experience in patient care; dentists are an obvious and safe choice for those seeking cosmetic injectable treatments

However, opinions do vary with regards to this - in 2008, the General Dental Council (GDC) stated, ‘the administration of Botulinum Toxin (sometimes known as Botox®) is not the practice of dentistry.’ Despite this, many NHS and private dentists are benefitting from adding this lucrative and in-demand string to their clinical bow, which offers a significant additional revenue stream to their standard dental practice.

The point at which dentists can train in injecting has been a point of contention for some time, particularly when considering newly qualified dentists. Essentially, junior dentists, within their first Foundation Training year, are technically allowed to train in injectables but a majority of NHS training contracts stipulate that they cannot inject in their Foundation Training year on private patients.

The general consensus in the industry is that injectable treatments should only be performed by experienced doctors, dentists, and nurses. Currently, however, there is no legislation in place to prevent less qualified practitioners, such as beauty therapists, for instance, from training in and performing these procedures.

What are the barriers?

Generally speaking, reputable training academies will only accept qualified medical professionals onto their courses, and credible clinics will not seek to employ anyone without a certified background in healthcare. Furthermore, all practitioners are required to hold adequate indemnity insurance to protect both themselves and their patients. Most reputable cosmetic insurers will only provide cover for fully qualified doctors, dentists, and nurses. It is considered negligent to practice without insurance. Any client seeking treatment should ensure their prospective practitioner is fully insured to undertake the procedures they are planning to receive.

In this way, junior dentists reside somewhere in a no-man’s land. They have undertaken their dentistry degree and would be accepted on to a training course in aesthetic medicine, yet they are restricted by their NHS contract to not carry out any injectable treatments within that first foundation year. There may well be changes to this in the future. Some dental schools are starting to incorporate principles of aesthetic medicine, and other functional applications of toxin, into their curricula, for instance. As increasing numbers of dentists continue to join the ranks of non-surgical facial aesthetics it is perceivable that formal training in aesthetics may be introduced into the undergraduate degree. This would help to protect the interests of the public and support better standards of care.

Our advice

For the time being and in light of the current legislation and opinion surrounding the practice of cosmetic injectables, Acquisition Aesthetics advises that newly qualified dentists consider training in facial aesthetics during their dental Foundation Year. If they train too early and do not start practicing until at least their second year of practice, they are likely to experience a degree of attrition of knowledge and skill. This may negatively impact their confidence to inject effectively.  Training closer to the time they are allowed to inject will enable them to start without delay, and they will be able to make a special contribution to any practice they join, as well as supplement their income handsomely if they so choose.

When considering which training academy to use, it is important to consider their credentials and scope of training – as well as ensure they can offer the level of learning resources and mentorship that you feel will suit your needs. Beware of any institutions that do not require proof of your qualifications or your GDC registration number, as they are unlikely to be operating appropriately.

Train with us

Acquisition Aesthetics offers the Level 7 Certificate in Injectables for Aesthetic Medicine through their higher provider, Industry Qualifications. This qualification allows current and aspiring practitioners to meet Health Education England’s 2016 Qualification Requirements for Delivery of Cosmetic Procedures in Botulinum Toxin and dermal fillers procedures. As part of this training programme, we provide you with comprehensive Mentoring Days; fully coordinated to provide an environment rich with theoretical learning alongside adequate opportunity to fulfill the practical injecting requirements of the Level 7 Certificate. This qualification is flexible, meaning it can fit around the hours you are required to complete within your Foundation Training NHS contract. In our experience this qualification takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the individual, although there are no absolute time restrictions or deadlines.

There are a number of other courses available through Acquisition Aesthetics including the Combined Foundation and Advanced Toxin and Dermal Fillers Courses. Every training experience at Acquisition Aesthetics is centred around the principles of anatomically-focussed hands-on training; injecting live cosmetic models with real product. Our courses also guarantee an incredibly close degree of supervision; ensuring the highest level of safety and supporting your confidence to practice facial aesthetics on completion of the course.

If you would like more information regarding our courses, or the Level 7 Certificate in particular, please email level7@acquisitionaesthetics.co.uk, call us on 020 3389 5611, or visit our website acquisitionaesthetics.co.uk.