Dental technician/ technologist

A dental technician produces dentures, crowns, bridges and braces that people may need during dental treatment.

Types of dental technician

There are four main areas of expertise for dental technicians. They are:

  • prosthodontic technicians - they design and make dentures
  • conservation technicians – they who specialise in crown and bridge work
  • orthodontic technicians - they make braces to correct tooth positions
  • maxillofacial technicians/ prosthetists - they work in hospital-based oral surgery, ophthalmic, cancer and burns units, helping to reconstruct the faces of patients damaged by accident or disease

Clinical dental technician (CDT)

A CDT is a qualified dental technician who has taken a further qualification so they can work directly on patients.

As a CDT you will provide complete dentures and other dental devices direct to patients on prescription from a dentist. You will also:

  • carry out clinical examinations
  • perform technical and clinical procedures related to providing removable dental appliances
  • take and process radiographs and other images related to providing removable dental appliances
  • fit removable appliances

Skills required

You will need a high standard of work and personal commitment. You will also require:

  • a high level of manual dexterity (be good with your hands)
  • good eyesight
  • good physical health
  • a friendly and sympathetic approach with a calm, confident and reassuring manner
  • an ability to relate well to a wide range of people

You should also be able to work well in a team and have good organisational skills to manage the administrative aspects of the job.

Training programmes

The Foundation Degree in Dental Technology is a full-time three year programme at the School of Dental Technology which is situated in the School of Dentistry in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

A dental technician can proceed with further education to gain a BTEC Higher National Diploma and a degree course, BSc (Hons) in Dental Technology.

Professional recognition

To practise in the UK in any of the dental care professions you must register with the professional regulator, the General Dental Council (GDC).

To join the registers applicants need to meet the professional standards set by the GDC.

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