What is a Dental technician? What are the Future Prospects of it ?
Dental Technicians, also called dental laboratory technicians, manufacture dental prosthetics including bridges, crowns and dentures according to specifications dentists send to them. They work in specialties that include orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, or ceramics. Dental technicians are also called dental laboratory technicians.
There is a great need for a range of health care professionals, in addition to dentists or dental surgeons, to handle the care and treatment of all kinds of problems of the mouth. These include dental technicians, dental assistants, dental mechanics and others, who are highly skilled in the design, construction, repair and adjustment of a variety of dental appliances such as bridges, crowns and orthodontic appliances like dentures. Today a dental technician (or dental mechanic) is an essential member of the dental team, and no dentist can work without them.
There will be plenty of job opportunities in this field owing to the rise in number of corporate hospitals and private clinics. Particularly for paramedical staff like dental assistants, technicians, dental hygienists etc, who provide dental support services. With the emphasis shifting from corrective surgeries to preventive and cosmetic dental treatment, it is very important that the dentists and the technicians work as a team.
While the quality of courses in dental technology urgently needs to be upgraded, the demand for these professionals is on the rise. Dental clinics are almost in every urban corner. The Increasing No. of dental colleges too has created a demand for postgraduate teaching staff.
The work of a dental technician includes:
Restoring natural teeth (crowns, inlays / onlays, veneers)
Replacing teeth (bridges, partial and full dentures, dental implant prosthesis)
Replacing oral soft and hard structures
Moving, retaining and protecting teeth and
Aligning the jaw position
Dental technicians work from a two-dimensional design diagram and written instructions received from the dentist to convert into three-dimensional products which meet the accepted biological and mechanical specifications.
To undertake these tasks a dental technician has to create a model of a patient’s mouth by pouring plaster into an impression (mould) made by a dentist, or build and shape a wax model of the patient’s teeth or tooth, to cast a metal framework for the prosthetic device, or form “teeth” from porcelain by applying it in layers to the prepared metal framework, and other such tasks.
Dental technicians, therefore, are required to have a high degree of technical ability and appropriate training and skills that involve a diverse range of techniques from plaster casting, electro-spot welding, metal casting, metal polishing, to wax modelling, ceramics, wire bending, electroplating and sandblasting.
Apart from the growing need for specialists, there is more and more demand for paramedical staff like dental assistants, technicians, dental hygienists, etc.
And since many of these courses can be taken up after plus two, it is opening up new work opportunities for students. Dental office management is another field that will have a lot of scope though it is in a fledgling state in India yet.
Experienced dental technicians who work in large laboratories may become supervisors or managers. Some may teach or work for dental suppliers. Technicians who do not wish to work under others may open their own laboratories. To do this, they need capital or financing to buy equipment. They also need complete knowledge about running a business.
Institutes Offering this Course are Listed here :
Diploma in Dental Technology
Thakur Polytechnic, Mumbai
Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s College, Navi Mumbai.
Central Institute for Dental Technology, Kerala
A fresher may earn anywhere between Rs 4,000 – Rs 7,000 per month. If placed in a reputed laboratory, one may take home a little more. Professional technicians with years of experience behind them can earn anywhere between Rs 25,000 – Rs 30,000 per month.