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Dental technician

Dental technicians design, make, and repair dental appliances.
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What does a dental technician do?

Depending on your specialism, your tasks could include:

  • orthodontics — creating plastic or metal devices, such as braces to straighten teeth
  • crown and bridge work — making items to cement in place
  • prosthetics — producing plastic dentures or implants

What do I need to do to become a dental technician?

You can become a dental technician through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could do a foundation degree or degree in dental technology approved by the General Dental Council.

You're likely to need a degree qualification to do advanced dental technology work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least one A level for a foundation degree 
  • two to three A levels for a degree

College

You can do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dental Technology, approved by the General Dental Council.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths, and science

Apprenticeship

You can get do a higher apprenticeship as a dental technician.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need four 4 or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship.

Work

You can work as a trainee dental technician with a practice and study part-time. This could take up to five years, depending on which qualification you do.

Registration

You'll need to register with the GDC.

You could join The Dental Technologists Association, for professional development and training opportunities.


Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Where to find out more


Where could I be working?

You could work in a laboratory.


Career opportunities

You could train as a healthcare scientist, specialising in reconstructive sciences, like maxillo-facial prosthetics through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

With experience you could set up your own laboratory, or work abroad.

In a commercial lab, you could become a senior or chief technician. Or you could move into quality control, sales or management. You could also become a teacher.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0


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