NHS Scotland Dental Technician
A Dental Technician designs and constructs dental appliances, under the prescription of a registered Dentist. A patient may require a dental appliance to replace missing teeth and improve their speech, appearance or ability to chew. Dental appliances can be manufactured using a range of materials such as gold, stainless steel, titanium, porcelain and plastic.
In NHSScotland, Dental Technicians work in laboratories in hospitals or in the independent sector.
After assessing the patient, dentists prescribe the most suitable appliance to meet their needs. The patient’s prescription, along with a dental impression, is sent to the lab for reference. The Dental Technician then constructs the appliance, ensuring the best possible fit and performance.
As a Dental Technician, your work would come under one of three different types:
- Removable prosthodontics: This area of dental technology would require you to design and construct complete and partial dentures to replace the patient’s missing natural teeth.
- Fixed prosthodontics: Under the prescription of a dentist, you would construct a custom made dental appliance, such as a crown or bridge, where the patient’s teeth cannot be reasonably restored. It removes the need for a partial denture, but is only an option if the supporting tissue is healthy.
- Orthodontics: You would produce removable dental appliances, known as braces. The braces are used to correct or make adjustments to the positioning of teeth in the mouth, which are adjusted over time improve appearance and jaw function.
Clinical Dental Technician
Registered Clinical Dental Technicians are qualified to carry out clinical examinations to assess the patient’s oral health and suitability for treatment. This will also include the taking of a detailed dental history and relevant medical history. They must also be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal oral tissues and related underlying structures, making referrals to other dental care professionals where appropriate.
As a Clinical Dental Technician, you would:
- carry out a clinical assessment and oral examination of the patient’s current oral health
- take and process radiographs and other images related to the provision of removable dental appliances
- undertake clinical and technical procedures related to the provision and fitting of removable dental appliances
- provide appropriate dental advice to patients