Dental Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a dental technician. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a dental technician.
Who is a Dental Technician?
Dental technicians create dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridges, and dentures to the specifications of the dentist. They create wax models from dental impressions, build metal and non-metal dental replacements, and finish dental devices before final placement.
Dental Technician Job Description
Below are the dental technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
Dental technicians are responsible for a wide range of tasks, which can include:
- Prepare patients for dental procedures such as tooth cleaning or anesthesia administration.
- Maintain sterilization standards by cleaning and disinfecting dental equipment and instruments.
- Give patients oral hygiene instructions, such as brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day, using mouthwash daily, and scheduling regular dental appointments.
- Keep a record of the patient’s medical history, such as previous surgeries or illnesses that may have an impact on treatment outcomes.
- Explain the procedure to the patient and provide comfort measures such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
- Use specialized tools and instruments to remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth in preparation for fillings, crowns, bridges, or other dental restorations.
- Protect the patient’s gums and lips with a rubber dam during dental procedures to prevent saliva from entering the surgical field.
- Maintain sterilization standards by cleaning and disinfecting dental equipment and instruments.
- Use crowns, fixed and removable bridges, dentures, and dental implants to restore or replace natural teeth.
- Make dental prosthetics for implantology and maxillo-facial reconstructions.
- Get physical dental impression molds or computerized models from dental practices and follow the dentist’s instructions.
- Wrap wax replicas of dental impressions in appropriate mold materials.
- Make prostheses and devices out of plastic, metal, or ceramic materials instead of wax.
- Make adjustments to dental prostheses and devices before final placement.
- Manage inventory, perform routine equipment maintenance, and assist with repairs.
- Document processes and follow industry regulations and safety standards.
- Keep up to date on advancements in dental laboratory technologies and techniques.
A dental technician must typically possess the following qualifications:
- Education: A high school diploma or GED certificate is typically required for dental technicians. Some dental technicians choose to further their education by pursuing an associate degree or a certificate program in dental assisting. These programs usually last a year and include classes in dental anatomy, radiology, pathology, microbiology, and periodontics.
- Experience and training: The clinical component of most dental technician programs provides students with hands-on experience. Students will learn how to sterilize and disinfect equipment, as well as how to prepare patients for procedures and assist dentists during them.
- Licenses and certifications: While certification is not always required to work as a dental technician, it can help you find work and increase your employability.
To be successful, dental technicians must possess the following abilities:
- Written and verbal communication skills.
Communication skills enable a dental hygienist to effectively collaborate with a dental team. Dental technologists can use communication skills to clarify measurements and data with the dentist or other team members to ensure the best outcomes for their patients.
Dental technicians may interact with a variety of people during the course of a workday, including dentists, patients, their relatives, dental hygienists, other technicians, administrative staff, and even outside vendors. They can use effective communication to ask patients, family members, or healthcare staff questions, address concerns, and discuss various treatment options.
- Keen attention to detail: Individualized dental equipment for patients necessitates a high level of attention to detail. A dental technician must pay close attention to the shape of the mouth and tooth construction when creating an appropriate dental bridge or set of dentures for a patient. A keen eye for detail reduces the likelihood of errors and assists a dental technician in providing effective health care.
- Excellent organizational abilities: Dental technicians frequently work in teams with other dental professionals, so they must be able to organize their work space and time effectively. This can assist them in completing their tasks on time and working well with others.
- Teamwork Spirit: Although some tasks require a dental technician to work alone, technicians are part of a larger dental team. This includes, among other things, nurses, dentists, assistants, administrative personnel, and contractors. Dental technicians can work effectively with others if they have strong teamwork skills.
- Technological abilities: Dental technicians complete their work using a variety of technological skills. They may use computer-aided design software to create models of patients’ teeth, scan patients’ teeth to create molds, and create models of patients’ teeth using digital imaging. They may also use 3D printers to create dental models for patients.
- Manual dexterity: Dental technicians create precise, appealing, and one-of-a-kind dental appliances for patients. They may use porcelain, gold, metal, and plastic to make crowns, dentures, and other dental devices. This procedure necessitates a high level of technical knowledge about oral health and equipment. It may also necessitate manual dexterity and the ability to handcraft appliances or use laboratory tools and equipment.
- Self-motivation: Technicians may work alone or in small groups of two or three. There may not be a supervisor available to seek advice. Successful dental technicians are often self-motivated and proactive. When working alone, it enables them to operate equipment, build dental applications, and make confident decisions.
- Critical-thinking abilities: Dental technicians can solve problems and create innovative designs for their patients by using critical thinking skills. These abilities can also assist them in evaluating the dentist’s data. They can then use the information to create effective dental devices.
- Technical ability to replicate colors: A dental technician works with a variety of colors, each with subtle differences. A dental technician must be educated in color matching and color science, in addition to paying attention to small details, to match the devices they create for each patient. This can assist them in developing a device that blends in with a patient’s teeth.
- Knowledge of Dentures: Dentures are dental appliances that are removable and are used to replace missing teeth. Dentures are made by dentists and dental assistants, but dental technicians also work with them to ensure proper fit. They may take impressions of a patient’s mouth to ensure that their dentures are the correct size and shape. Dentures are used by dental technicians when working on patients so that they can practice correctly fitting them. This ensures that the patient’s dentures are comfortable when they leave the dentist’s office.
- Knowledge of Orthodontics: Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting tooth irregularities. Orthodontic dental technicians can assist their employers by performing routine checkups and identifying potential issues with patients’ teeth. This may enable dental professionals to refer patients to orthodontists, increasing the number of patients seen and increasing revenue for their practice.
- Veneer expertise: Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied to the front surface of teeth by dental technicians. They’re a common treatment for stained or crooked teeth, and they can also make a smile look better. Veneers must be applied precisely to fit properly and appear natural. Dental technicians with veneer experience may be able to work more quickly and efficiently than those without.
- Capability to perform implant procedures: Implants are small, artificial roots that can be used to replace missing teeth in the mouth. Dental technicians with this skill may collaborate with dentists to place these artificial teeth in patients’ mouths and ensure proper healing. This is a necessary skill for dental technicians because it allows them to assist patients in maintaining healthy smiles after they have lost their natural teeth.
- Ability to Make Models: The ability to create accurate models of teeth and other body parts is referred to as model making. Dentists use these models when performing procedures, so dental technicians who have this skill can better assist their employers. Model-making necessitates attention to detail, patience, and knowledge of how various materials interact with one another.
- Dental Prosthetics knowledge: The process of creating artificial teeth and dental structures is known as dental prosthetics. This skill set includes understanding how to make molds, fill them with materials, and add finishing touches such as paint or enamel. It is also necessary to understand how different types of materials react when heated to properly cure your work.
- Casting Skills: Casting is the process of creating a mold for dental work. This entails making an impression on a patient’s mouth with materials such as plaster and silicone. You can make molds that dentists use to create artificial teeth if you have casting skills. Dentists also use casts to take impressions of their patients’ mouths.
- Understanding of inlays and onlays: Inlays and onlays, which are dental restorations that replace the natural tooth structure, are frequently used by dental technicians. Inlays and onlays, which can be made of porcelain or other materials, require precise work to ensure proper fit. When working with a dentist, dental technicians may also apply these restorations themselves.
- Patience: When working with patients, dental technicians must be patient. They may have to wait for their dentist to complete an examination before performing any procedures, and they may also have to wait while the anesthetist prepares the patient for treatment. Dental technicians should also be patient when instructing patients on proper oral hygiene or explaining complex dental procedures.
- Creative ability: Dental technicians frequently employ artistic abilities to create dental models and other forms of artwork. They also use these skills when applying fillings because the color must match the rest of the tooth. Working with patients requires dental technicians to explain procedures in a way that appeals to their artistic sensibilities.
How to Become a Dental Technician
- Finish your secondary school education: The first step toward becoming a dental technician is finishing secondary school. To help you develop your skills, try to take a variety of classes throughout your education, including biology and math. Some training programs require a certain number of A-levels and GSCEs, so do your homework to ensure you meet all requirements.
- Select an educational or training path: After finishing secondary school, you can choose from the following training programs:
- BSc (Hons) in dental technology: Three A-levels or equivalent qualifications are required for admission. This is a full-time course taught by a dental school at a university.
- BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Dental Technology: A minimum of four GCSEs in grades 9-4 (A-C), including math, English, and science, are required for admission. This is a full-time university program.
- A foundation degree in dental technology: This is a training program that you can pursue while working as a professional apprentice. You must apply for a position as an apprentice or trainee dental technician for this option.
- Join the General Dental Council (GDC): You can register with the GDC after completing an accredited training program. You can fill out an online registration questionnaire and submit documents such as proof of identity and a character reference. To renew your registration on an annual basis, you may need to complete additional professional development.
- Apply for job applications: Consider creating a CV and cover letter to highlight your skills, education, and training before applying for positions. This can help you demonstrate to an employer that you are qualified for the position of a dental technician. You can also practice common dental questions to prepare for your interview. This can make you feel more assured and prepared. An interviewer may request specific technical information from you to assess your ability to create effective dental appliances.
Where to Work as a Dental Technician
Dental technicians work in dental laboratories or dentists’, orthodontists’, or prosthodontists’, offices. While these professionals do a lot of their work by hand, they may also use specialized laboratory equipment to fine-tune each task. Dental technicians frequently construct dental appliances and devices in a lab setting. Working alongside dental and oral surgeons in a clinical setting, dental technicians may occasionally communicate directly with patients.
Dental technicians typically work 40 hours per week, though they may be required to work longer hours if the work is urgent. Dental technicians working in large clinics, hospitals, or emergency departments may be required to work the night shift and weekends to assist patients in need of emergency dental care.
Dental Technician Salary Scale
In the United States, the average dental technician’s salary is $41,925 per year or $21.50 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $31,212 per year, with most experienced workers earning up to $65,000 per year.
The average dental technician’s gross salary in London, United Kingdom is £35,546 per year or £17 per hour. This is 29% (+£8,029) more than the national average for dental technicians in the United Kingdom. They also receive an average bonus of £537. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous London employees. The average salary for an entry-level dental technician (1-3 years of experience) is £26,579. A senior-level dental technician (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of £42,997.
The average gross salary for a dental technician in Canada is $50,744, or $24 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of $766. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Canada. The average salary for an entry-level dental technician (1-3 years of experience) is $37,943. A senior-level dental technician (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of $61,380.
In Ireland, the average gross salary for a dental technician is €37,108, or €18 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of €560. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Ireland. The average salary for an entry-level dental technician (1-3 years of experience) is €27,755. A senior-level dental technician (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of €44,899.
In Australia, the average gross salary for a dental technician is $62,718 per year, or $30 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of $947. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data collected directly from Australian employers and anonymous employees. An entry-level dental technician (1-3 years of experience) earns $46,972 on average. A senior-level dental technician (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of $75,987.
In Germany, the average gross salary for a dental technician is 39.262 euros, or an hourly rate of 19 euros. They also receive an average bonus of 593 €. Salary estimates are based on salary survey data from employers and anonymous employees in Germany. An entry-level dental technician (1-3 years of experience) earns 29.357 € on average. A senior-level dental technician (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, earns an average salary of 47,491 euros.
In Nigeria, a Dental Technician typically earns around 213,000 NGN per month. Salaries range from 113,000 NGN (the lowest) to 324,000 NGN (the highest) (highest).