Dental technician/dental technologist

Dental technicians (or dental technologists as they are often referred to) make the dentures, crowns, bridges and dental braces that improve patients’ appearance, speech and ability to chew.

Working life

Working to dentists’ or doctors’ prescriptions, technicians/technologists use a wide range of materials such as gold, porcelain and plastic to design and construct appliances to meet each patient’s needs.

As a technician/technologist, much of your work will be done by hand to fine-tune each piece to exact specifications, but you will also work with specialised equipment in the laboratory. Since each patient is unique, no two pieces are the same and absolute precision is essential to make sure the device is comfortable and effective for the patient.

Technicians and technologists use a wide range of materials to design and construct appliances and work in four specialist areas:

Dental technicians may also work directly with patients in a clinic alongside a dentist or clinical dental technician.

Clinical dental technicians

Clinical dental technicians are dental technicians who have undertaken specific clinical training to enable them to design, create, construct, modify and fit removeable dental appliances for patients. In this role, you would be able to provide dentures direct to patients with no natural teeth, or work with and to the prescription of a dentist to provide partial dentures for patients with some teeth. This is an interesting option for dental technicians who would like to have direct contact with patients.

An important part of the role is to check on the patient's general dental welfare.

Entry requirements, skills and interests

To work as a dental technician/dental technologist, you must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). To register, you will need to have successfully completed a GDC-approved course.

As well as knowing about the properties of the necessary materials to construct dental appliances, you will need an excellent understanding of dental and facial anatomy. This is a highly skilled job and you might also have some artistic ability.

Training and development

GDC-recognised courses lead to qualifications such as the BTEC National Diploma in Dental Technology, (for entry to which you will normally be required to have at least four GCSEs at grade C or above or the equivalent), a foundation degree (in which case you'll normally need to be employed in a trainee dental technician role) or a BSc (Hons) degree in dental technology (for which A-levels or equivalent qualifications are usually required).

You can take the BTEC National Diploma or foundation degree course on a full-time basis or by obtaining a post as a trainee dental technician and taking the course part time. BSc (Hons) degrees are usually full-time at a university/dental school.

Use our course finder to find out which organisations provide courses in dental technology.

Other roles that may interest you

Is there anything wrong with this page?

Help us improve Health Careers

If you would like us to recontact you about the issue, make sure you are logged in before submitting.