Dental technicians are dental care professionals. They work in conjunction with a larger dental team. Dental technicians design, manufacture, and modify dental appliances. They ensure that dental appliances fit well and are comfortable to wear. Learn about how to become a dental lab technician.
Dental technicians, also known as dental technologists, produce dentures, crowns, braces, and bridges to improve a patient’s appearance, speech and the ability to chew. Dental technicians work on dentists’ prescriptions. They use a variety of materials in their work, including plastic, gold, and porcelain. These materials are used to construct dental appliances to meet the requirements of patients.
Dental technicians work in one of four specialist areas: prosthodontics, orthodontics, conservation, maxillo-facial. Prosthodontic technicians design and create dentures. Conservation technicians design and create crowns and bridges. Orthodontic technicians produce braces to enhance tooth alignment. Maxillo-facial technicians, or maxillofacial prosthetists, help to reconstruct the faces of individuals who have experienced a bad accident or disease.
To work as a dental technician, an individual must register with the General Dental Council (GDC). To register with the GDC, an individual must have completed a GDC-approved course. Recognised dental technician courses lead to professional qualifications such as the BTEC National Diploma in Dental Technology, a Foundation degree in Dental Technology, or a BSc (Hons) in Dental Technology.
To enter onto a BTEC course, at least four GCSE passes are required.
To enter onto a foundation degree, an individual must normally have secured a trainee dental technician post.
Honours degrees To enrol on a BSc (Hons) degree in Dental Technology, A level qualifications or equivalent will be required. A levels should ideally be in science subjects.
A BTEC National Diploma or foundation degree qualification may be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Trainee dental technicians usually study for these qualifications part-time on a day-release basis. BSc (Hons) degrees are typically taken full-time.
Dental technicians who wish to enhance their career prospects can study for further qualifications. They can then progress into senior or chief technician roles, quality control roles, teaching or sales. Clinical dental technicians can further their education to become orthodontic therapists.