What Do Dental Technicians Do On A Daily Basis?
There’s a lot more to working in dental than just being a dentist. You’ve got the dental nurse who works alongside the dentist in the surgery for starters but you’ve also got dental technicians who play a crucial role in the maintenance and care of teeth.
We have courses and Apprenticeships for both at The Sheffield College but let’s look into dental technicians in a bit more detail.
Dental technicians (or dental technologists as they are often referred to) make the dentures, crowns, bridges and dental braces that improve patients’ appearance, speech and ability to chew.
Working to dentists’ or doctors’ prescriptions, technicians/technologists use a wide range of materials such as gold, porcelain and plastic to design and construct appliances to meet each patient’s needs
As a technician/technologist, much of your work will be done by hand to fine-tune each piece to exact specifications, but you will also work with specialised equipment in the laboratory. Since each patient is unique, no two pieces are the same and absolute precision is essential to make sure the device is comfortable and effective for the patient.
Technicians and technologists use a wide range of materials to design and construct appliances and work in four specialist areas:
- prosthodontic technicians design and make dentures
- conservation technicians specialise in crown and bridge work
- orthodontic technicians make braces to correct tooth positions
- maxillofacial technicians’ work is based in hospital oral surgery, ophthalmic, cancer and burns units, helping to reconstruct the faces of patients damaged by accident or disease
Dental technicians may also work directly with patients in a clinic alongside a dentist or clinical dental technician.
Clinical dental technicians
Clinical dental technicians are dental technicians who have undertaken specific clinical training to enable them to design, create, construct, modify and fit removeable dental appliances for patients. In this role, you would be able to provide dentures direct to patients with no natural teeth, or work with and to the prescription of a dentist to provide partial dentures for patients with some teeth. This is an interesting option for dental technicians who would like to have direct contact with patients.
An important part of the role is to check on the patient’s general dental welfare.
Entry requirements, skills and interests
To work as a dental technician/dental technologist, you must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).
The design of our courses have been defined by the standards and scope of practice of the GDC which means that once you’ve finished your course with us, the GDC will allow you to register straight away.
As well as knowing about the properties of the necessary materials to construct dental appliances, you will need an excellent understanding of dental and facial anatomy. This is a highly skilled job and you might also have some artistic ability.
At The Sheffield College we have specialist, on-site Dental Laboratories for you to cut your craft, as well as all the latest industry-spec equipment. The Dental Technology department also has access to the Science department’s laboratories so when it comes to taking that job, there’ll be nothing to take you by surprise!