Dental technicians construct and repair dentures (false teeth) and other dental appliances, including crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances.
To become a dental technician you usually have to complete a VET qualification in dental technology. Entry may require employment in a dental laboratory for technical and work training. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a dental technician through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Dental Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. Alternatively, you can become a dental technician by studying dental technology at university. Entry usually requires you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics are normally required.
Dental technicians may perform the following tasks:
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.
Dental technicians may work independently in hospitals or dental laboratories, or for dental group practices.
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.