Dental technicians construct and repair dentures (false teeth) and other dental appliances, including crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances.
Duties & Tasks
Dental technicians may perform the following tasks:
- make models of the mouth and teeth from impressions of the patient's mouth (taken by the dental prosthetist, dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist)
- use models and moulds to make dental restorations such as inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns and bridges
- polish and finish the appliance prior to placement in the patient's mouth
- make appliances for patients with cleft palates, braces and plates for correcting irregular teeth
- make mouthguards.
A dental prosthetist works as an independent practitioner in public or private clinics to provide complete and partial dentures and mouthguards to the public, consulting directly with patients about their removable dental prosthetic needs.
Dental technicians work in dental laboratories on their own or in small groups. They use a wide range of materials and techniques in their work, including plaster casting, electro-spot welding, metal casting, metal polishing, wax modelling, ceramics, wire bending, electroplating and sandblasting. The use of small CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/manufacturing) units is increasing in the design and manufacture of some dental products.
Dental technicians work closely with dentists and dental prosthetists and usually have no direct contact with patients.
- good communication skills
- good hand-eye coordination
- able to do precise and detailed work
- an eye for form and design
- able to concentrate for long periods.