If you’ve gotten braces at some point, you must have wondered who makes the braces. No, it’s not your dentist. It’s a dental technician.
What is a Dental Technician?
A dental technician, also known as a dental technologist, is a professional who does the actual dentures braces, bridges, and crowns that dental patients need. They have undergone specific studies and training in order to give precision to your dental needs. Although they have equipment and tools to help them, most of their job requires actual handwork because of the things they create.
There are four kinds of dental technicians:
Conservation Technicians – deal with crowns and bridges. They use porcelain, metal alloys, and even gold in order to create a certain kind of crown or bridge.
Maxillofacial Technicians – deal with reconstructing and fixing damaged parts of the face caused by injury, disease, or fire. They are often found in oral surgery wings because they work closely with other surgeons in fixing the damaged part of the face not limited to the jaw, mouth, and teeth. They are also one of the most in-demand dental technicians today.
Orthodontic Technicians – are responsible for creating braces. The primary purpose of braces is to align teeth and to close the gaps between them. This includes designing the kind of brace needed in order to fix problems with teeth.
Prosthodontic Technicians – focus on designing and creating dentures. Unlike crowns and bridges, prosthodontic technicians make use of chrome cobalt or acrylic.
Although there are four kinds of dental technicians, a person taking a dental technician training can choose to be a generalist. This will allow them to work with all the four fixes to the teeth. If they want to focus more on one specialization, then they can take up more training for that specific area.
What is the Role of a Dental Technician?
You already know that a dental technician designs and creates the needed fixtures for your teeth. But apart from that, there are other responsibilities that a dental technician should handle. Here are some of them.
- Translate written instructions and descriptions on prosthetics and create their 3D version
- Create tools and fixtures for patients that have irregularities in their jaw, mouth, and teeth
- Give recommendations on the right material to be used for crown, bridges, and dentures
- Build replicas to use as models for dental clinics
- Create objects that help protect the teeth from physical activities
- Work hand-in-hand with the dentist to replace or remove dental fixtures on the patient
- Aid in reconstructing damaged parts of the face together with a surgeon
With all these roles, you’ll realize that dental technicians are important. Without them, dentists will be handicapped because no one will create the tools needed to fix irregularities in the teeth or jaw.
What do You Need to be a Dental Technician?
A dental technician is a specialized career where you need to have an idea of the anatomy of the face. You also need to have the skills to produce good quality and accurate prosthetics.
In order to become a qualified dental technician, you should take a two-year course on dental technology. After you get a diploma, you have to work at a dental laboratory or a dental clinic in order to gain the needed experience. These are all requirements for being registered in the General Dental Council or GDC. To know more about what the GDC is, you can visit their website. This will also give you a more detailed description of the requirements and expectations of being a dental technician.
Career as a Dental Technician
By knowing the roles of a dental technician, you can have an idea of what it’s like to be one. Most dental technicians work in a laboratory creating the prosthetics themselves. These laboratories can either be government-owned or private. However, you can also work in hospitals as a dental technician. If you focus on maxillofacial concerns, then you can work together with a surgeon.
There is also a chance that you do not work all your life as a dental technician. You can either be promoted or assigned to do research than the actual creation of prosthetics. When you are promoted, you can head a department or the whole dental technology laboratory.