What is AHPRA and How Can it Help You Find a Specialist Dental Provider?

Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Residents can visit a doctor or dentist and be confident that they are being seen by a person who has suitable qualifications and training to practise. Part of that is the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which began in 2010 which ensures all practitioners have national recognition.

What is AHPRA?

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) protects the Australian public by regulating health practitioners. The Agency sets standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet. There are 15 National Boards including the Dental Board of Australia that the Agency works with in regulating Australia’s health professions.

The Agency lists all registered nurses and midwives, medical practitioners, psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dental practitioners, optometrists, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners, Chinese medicine practitioners, medical radiation practitioners, occupational therapists, and paramedics.

In January 2020 there were approximately 74,000 registered health practitioners in Western Australia, around 10% of the total number across Australia.

How to Use AHPRA?

The AHPRA website contains a database that lists all health dental professionals including dental hygienists, dentists, and specialists. If you want to check if a dentist is a specialist or general dentist, you can enter the name and state/territory of the practitioner and review their registration. The registration type will list a dentist as General or Specialist. The field of specialty is also listed and may include prosthodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, dento-maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, paediatric dentistry, public health dentistry, special needs dentistry and forensic odontology.

If a patient wants to be treated by a qualified prosthodontist who has undertaken a further three years of full-time study at a recognised university, check the database to ensure your practitioner has prosthodontics listed as their speciality.

A general dentist may tell patients that they specialise in prosthodontics but unless they have the specialty listed on their registration, they haven’t completed the further study to be a qualified prosthodontist.

AHPRA Protecting the Australian Public

Members of the public assist AHPRA to ensure that only practitioners who are fit to practise safely are registered. If an individual has a concern about a practitioner, they can make their concerns known via a notification. Each notification received is assessed for potential risk to the public and if the risk is deemed serious, AHPRA can take immediate action to limit a practitioner’s registration while an investigation is undertaken. AHPRA works in partnership with National Boards to manage notifications about a practitioner’s performance, health or conduct. If an investigation finds that a practitioner poses a risk to patients, their registration can be withdrawn so they can no longer practise.

There is no charge for members of the public to check the register or to register a notification with AHPRA. The cost of the service is covered by the registration costs by all health practitioners.

If you are unable to find a practitioner on the AHPRA register or have queries about a listing, you can call AHPRA on 1300 419 495.

Call Western Prosthodontic Centre on 9321 1632 or contact us online if you’re looking for an experienced prosthodontist.