Dental technicians in general, build, repair, adjust, and design dental devices for people who have significant teeth breakage and need other functionality improvements. Dental technicians usually specialize in 3 particular fields- orthodontics, prosthetics, and crown and bridge work.
Each field has a specific purpose and entails a different educational background. For instance, orthodontics pertains to things like braces, plastic and metal devices, and other re-alignment procedures. Meanwhile, crown and bridge work deals with the fabrication of cement in the tooth.
Prosthetics is quite similar to orthodontics in terms of fixing an appearance, but it particularly handles metal inserts, dentures and implants. Dental technicians do work in a lot of different settings, which include the NHS and private dental clinics.
Private dental clinics or labs allow you to create appliances and devices for a wider range of dental practice. Hospital settings, on the other hand, will immerse you in dental surgery assistance by creating and designing artificial components for patients with cancer, a cleft palate, or other facial injuries.
Credentials Needed by Employers
In order to be a UK dental technician, you would first have to register with the GDC or General Dental Council. By registering with them, it is assumed that you have already completed qualifications in dental technology. Among the diplomas or degrees you will be needing are the BTEC National Diploma, a foundation degree, and a BSC Honors Degree.
Having said that, it is also a good background for a higher level of dental technology work. Such certifications will give you a better foundation.
Salary and Benefits
A job in the dental industry can certainly be very lucrative and rewarding. The starting salary for a dental technician is around £20,700 a year. With further experience, one can improve his or her salary to around £33,500. For specialists, the pay-off is even better at £39,300 per year. These figures are just rough estimates. Thus, technicians can earn far more with better credentials.
A Day in the Life
Aside from the amazing benefits and rewards that you can get from being a dental technician, the job profile is also not that toxic as compared to other jobs. The average work week is in the figure of around 40 hours. Commercial laboratories may require additional hours, but these usually come with overtime pay.
The work of a dental technician is mainly held in a lab, and is usually done alone or with a team. Working in hospitals may also entail being in direct contact with oral and dental surgeons, and sometimes patients.
We have other career advice in the NHS and healthcare sector like being a healthcare assistant or see the complete list.