Dental Technician

Job Description:

Dental technicians make and repair dental appliances used to improve patients' appearance, speech or ability to eat.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As a dental technician, you could:

  • Design, make, modify and repair custom dental devices
  • Use precision equipment and tools
  • Shape materials like gold, porcelain and plastic
  • You might specialise in orthodontic, crown and bridge work or prosthetics. Depending on your speciality you could:
  • Create plastic or metal devices, like braces to straighten teeth
  • Make items like crowns or bridges to cement in place
  • Produce plastic dentures or implants


You’ll need:

  • Knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • Knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • To be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • communication skills – effective communication with dentists and other members of the dental team is important for understanding patient needs and producing quality dental appliances (teamwork)
  • the ability to work well with your hands – manual dexterity and attention to detail through hands-on activities, such as crafting or model making, can be beneficial for creating accurate dental prosthetics.
  • Design skills and knowledge (creativity)
  • The ability to analyse quality or performance and be thorough
  • Thinking and reasoning skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

School Subjects

To become a dental technician, you don’t necessarily need specific GCSE subjects, but a combination of science, practical, and technical skills will be beneficial for pursuing a career in this field, such as

  1. Science Subjects: Strong foundational knowledge in science subjects can be valuable for understanding dental anatomy, materials, and processes. Consider taking subjects like Biology and Chemistry to develop a solid understanding of biological systems and chemical interactions.
  2. Design and Technology: This subject can provide practical skills in design, precision, and craftsmanship, which are crucial for creating dental prosthetics and appliances.
  3. Mathematics: Basic math skills are essential for accurate measurements, calculations, and working with dental materials.
  4. Art and Design: Dental technicians often need artistic skills to create aesthetically pleasing and functional dental appliances. Art and Design subjects can help develop your creativity and attention to detail.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) software and digital technologies is becoming increasingly important in the field of dental technology.
  6. Health and Safety: Understanding health and safety regulations is critical when working with dental materials and equipment.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a foundation degree or degree in dental technology approved by the General Dental Council.

It’s likely you’ll need a degree to do advanced dental technology work.

You could do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dental Technology approved by the General Dental Council.

You could do the Dental Technician Level  5 Higher Apprenticeship.

If you want to make dental appliances and have direct contact with patients, you could do the Clinical Dental Technician Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship.

You could start as a trainee dental technician with a practice and study part time.

This could take up to 5 years depending on which qualification you do.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 39-41 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could:

  • Train to become a clinical dental technician if you want more direct contact with patients
  • Do further training to become a healthcare scientist through a Scientist Training Programme (STP) and specialise in reconstructive sciences
  • Set up your own laboratory or work abroad
  • Become a senior or chief dental technician
  • Move into quality control, sales, management, teaching or research