The Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) welcomes the much-awaited Dental Regulations that was gazetted on December 7, 2021.
These regulations (known as Dental Regulations 2021) will act as a reference for the new dental act, Dental Act 2018 (replacing the Dental Act 1971), and will be enforced from January 1, 2022.
Among the significant inclusions in the Dental Act 2018 is the inclusion of the register for the Dental Therapist, Post-Basic Dental Therapist and Dental Specialist, which were not present in the old Dental Act.
This comprehensive register will include all practitioners and dental therapists practising in the public and private sectors.
Dental Specialists must meet the required criteria set by the Dental Specialists’ Evaluation Committee for their names to be registered, and thus enable them to legally claim themselves as specialists.
Another major change in the dental profession is the introduction of the Professional Qualifying Examination (consisting of three parts) for all dental graduates.
For dental graduates undergoing their training at Malaysian universities, however, these examinations will be incorporated in the training modules.
This is to ensure that these graduates possess the minimum required standard needed to practise in Malaysia.
The application or renewal of the Annual Practicing Certificate will also require evidence of Professional Indemnity Cover and accumulated Continuing Professional Development points.
The Dental Act 2018 will now confer more authority upon enforcement officers in curbing illegal dentistry to safeguard the general public.
MDA has been informed that the Dental Act 2018 will be enforced in stages to ensure a smooth transition for those who are practising, and those who are currently still pursuing their studies.
All Acts and regulations are imperfect at best, and should be implemented sensibly, compassionately, and with the understanding that amendments must be made from time to time in consultation with all stakeholders to maintain relevance and to keep up with changing circumstances.
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