Dental TechnicianJob Description:
Dental technicians make and repair dental appliances used to improve patients' appearance, speech or ability to eat.Job Category:
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
- 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
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
- 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.
- Design and Technology: This subject can provide practical skills in design, precision, and craftsmanship, which are crucial for creating dental prosthetics and appliances.
- Mathematics: Basic math skills are essential for accurate measurements, calculations, and working with dental materials.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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