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Council Meeting:
January 14, 2011

Les réunions au Conseil:
Le 14 janvier 2011

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Supervision

This section contains some of the more frequently asked questions about the Supervision of a dental laboratory. The College welcomes comments, suggestions and questions from members and from the public. Please write to the College.

* (PDF files)PDF document

Q:  Although I am not a RDT in Ontario, can I open a dental laboratory?
A: Anyone can own a dental laboratory in Ontario. However, according to section 32 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, you must make sure that you hire a RDT holding a General Certificate of Registration with the CDTO to supervise its operation. You may also choose to go through the Registration process* to become a RDT.
Q:  I am the RDT-in-charge of a laboratory and an investigator from the Ministry of Labour wanted to visit my laboratory, do I need to cooperate?
A: Yes, you must cooperate. The Occupational Health and Safety Act grants the investigators the right to enter your laboratory to verify compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Hazardous Material Information System legislation and their associated regulations. As the supervisor of the laboratory and/or the owner, it is your responsibility to know these Acts, train your staff and comply with requirements.
Q:  I have been issued a RDT stamp. When do I need to use the stamp?
A: You have to apply the stamp on any invoices or documents authorizing the release of cases. Both the client and laboratory copies of such documents must be stamped. Any design proposals must be stamped AND signed by the RDT. Refer to the Laboratory Supervision Standards* for further information regarding the use of the stamp. Documents or correspondence not relating to the release of cases should not be stamped.
Q:&bnsp; I am a RDT working under the supervision of another RDT who is also the RDT-in-charge. Who would be responsible for a defective appliance? Would I still be responsible even if the appliance were released with the stamp of the RDT-in-charge on it?
A: Both the RDT-in-charge and the RDT can be held responsible. All members must conform to the Standards of Practice of the Profession and so the RDT producing the appliance will be held responsible for any breach of the standards relating to production. As well, the supervising RDT, by virtue of the stamp, indicated that he/she was satisfied that the standards were being met. If the level of supervision was insufficient to assure that, then the supervising RDT may be held responsible for a breach of the supervision standards, for allowing deficient materials, processes or equipment to be used, or for failing to adequately inspect the product before release.
Q:  In the event that a client is not satisfied with the standards of a dental appliance and brings forth a lawsuit in court, who is liable - the laboratory owner (non-RDT), the RDT-in-charge or the RDT who produces the case?
A: All of the listed parties will undoubtedly be sued and the courts will assign responsibility under the particular circumstances. In many cases, one could assume that they all share the responsibility to some extent. From the CDTO's perspective in a disciplinary case, the College does not ascribe responsibility to the non-RDT owner because the Standards assume that the professional will not permit business interests to interfere improperly with his/her professional duties or the interests of patients/clients.
Q:   Am I still responsible for work I supervised as a RDT even after my retirement from the profession?
A: Yes, you are still responsible for cases you supervised even after your resignation from the CDTO. Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, the CDTO maintains jurisdiction over you for the period you worked as a RDT. The College is required to deal with complaints lodged against you even after your membership with the CDTO has ended.
Q:  Is there a limit to the number of technicians that a RDT can supervise?
A: No, the legislation in Ontario does not define the number of technicians that a RDT can supervise. The CDTO's Standards of Practice includes the Guidelines Respecting Laboratory Supervision.
Q:  Why is it not acceptable for a RDT to supervise two dental laboratories on two different floors of the same building at the same time?
A: In discharging his/her supervisory responsibilities, a RDT needs to examine all prescriptions and records supplied by prescribing dentists prior to the design, fabrication, repair or alteration of any dental appliance in question. He/she must also be personally responsible for the adequacy of procedures, material, equipment used in the fabrication of the dental appliances and in overseeing the work of the employee under his/her supervision. He/she must also inspect all appliances and invoices to ensure that they conform to the CDTO standards and the dentist's prescriptions prior to release.

To carry out this level of supervision, especially when overseeing the practice of dental technology, a RDT must actually commit time and be physically present in the laboratory when prescriptions and appliances are being processed. The CDTO therefore sets the standard that a RDT may only supervise a single laboratory on a given day. As defined in the CDTO's Guidelines Respecting Laboratory Supervision, a laboratory is "a physical as well as a corporate entity in which the design, construction, repair and alteration of dental devices takes place in a single building within a single area, all the parts of which are contiguous and directly accessible one to the other, and which operates and issues invoices under a single name." Therefore, laboratories on two different floors within a single building cannot be accepted as a single laboratory and must be supervised by two RDTs.