Dubai's dentistry regulations have been revamped in a bid to meet a growing need for care in the emirate.
Dubai Healthcare City Authority is to allow dentists with qualifications from a number of international examination boards to practice without the need to sit a previously mandatory online exam.
The authority hopes the move will help to cut waiting times and drive up standards as Dubai braces itself for a 156 per cent increase in demand for dentistry services by 2025.
“Having a healthy number of general dentists within our ecosystem allows for the availability of faster appointments with less waiting time, helping create a better patient experience,” said Dr Ramadan AlBlooshi, from Dubai Healthcare City Authority.
“A general dental practitioner is trained to deliver a range of services, procedures, and treatments, while a specialist covers a narrower field.”
There are currently more than 4,200 healthcare professionals working in the freezone, Dubai Healthcare City, but fewer than five per cent are providing dental services.
The revised guidelines will now allow general dentist graduates from the National Board Dental Examination; Australian Dental Council; National Dental Examining Board of Canada; and Dental Council Examination, Ireland, to be licensed in DHCC without taking the online test.
The World Health Organisation, has said oral and dental diseases are some of the fastest growing global non-viral illnesses.
In July, Abu Dhabi health officials encouraged the public to take better care of their teeth following a shocking survey by health officials.
The Department of Health reported more than 85,000 cases of adult gum disease were diagnosed in 2017, and 134,000 incidents of tooth decay.
Dr AlBlooshi said several routine dental treatments could be offered without the need for a specialist, to maintain general oral health.
Dentists wishing to work in Dubai must complete stringent checks to ensure their qualifications are in place, that they have the required experience and necessary language requirements to practice in the UAE.