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Dental Technician

VOC Course Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check Working With Children check First Aid

Dental technicians construct and repair dentures (false teeth) and other dental appliances, including crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances.

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.

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

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • 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

Interest Area

Medical Scientific

SPECIALISATIONS

Dental technology may be divided into the following categories:

General prostheses: the largest field in dental technology, in which partial or full dentures (metal and non-metal) are constructed to replace the partial or total loss of natural teeth.

Crown and bridge: used in the restoration of teeth and fixtures in the patient's mouth.

Maxillo-facial: prostheses are made to replace missing facial and body tissues due to injury, disease or developmental abnormality.

Orthodontics: the manufacture of fixed or removable appliances for the correction of dental irregularities in the mouths of patients.

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.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


VOC Course Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check Working With Children check First Aid

To become a dental technician you usually have to complete a VOC 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.

Alternatively, you can become a dental technician by studying dental technology at university. Entry usually requires you to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics are normally required.


Additional Information

    Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Dental technicians may work independently in hospitals or dental laboratories, or for dental group practices.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Dental Technician Australian Dental Prosthetists Association Oral Health Professionals Association Dental Health Program - Health Directorate ACT Centre for Oral Health Strategy NSW NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)


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