Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Dental Technician
Dental technicians are skilled craftspeople who make and repair dental restorations such as dentures, bridges, crowns, fillings, braces and other orthodontic correction appliances. They follow the directions or prescriptions of a dentist and do not deal with patients themselves.

When a denture has to be made, the dentist obtains impressions of the patient's gums and palate, from which the technician makes a model. After this has been modified for comfort, the final denture is cast in an acrylic material or artificial resin. The appliance made often affects the appearance of the patient, which means that the work needs to be very precise and neat.

Dental technicians may be generalists and perform all types of dental laboratory work or may specialize in one of the following areas:

- Prosthetics
- Crown and bridgework
- Metal framework
- Orthodontics

Satisfying Aspects
- working with one's hands
- the opportunity to become self-employed
- satisfaction of knowing that one's work helps others
- the opportunity to use one's artistic ability in this work.

Demanding aspects
- doing detailed work that requires strict accuracy
- having to remake appliances that do not fit
- sometimes having to work overtime

A dental technician should:
- be able to follow directions carefully;
- be patient;
- enjoy doing detailed, accurate work;
- have some artistic and three-dimensional ability;
- have manual dexterity;
- have normal colour vision;
- be tidy and neat.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Diploma: The dental technologist can follow the course in Dental Services offered by DUT, Dental Assisting - CPUT, CUT and TUT, Dental Sciences offered by WIts and Dental Technology offered by CPUT, DUT and TUT.

Prospective students are subject to selection. Training involves two or more years of academic (formal) training, followed by six months' in-service training.

Candidates must, however, obtain the National Higher Diploma in Dental Technology (N.H.Dip: Dent Tech) before they may practise this profession. This is a one-year full-time course, the first semester comprising in-service training and the second semester, formal training. Then an admission examination set by the SA Council for Dental Technicians must be passed for registration with the Council before practising professionally.

Advanced one-year courses lead to the Masters Diploma and the Laureates in Technology. All dental technicians must register with the South African Dental Technicians’ Council.

- private and commercial dental laboratories
- dentists
- hospitals and clinics
- government departments
- manufacturers of dental laboratory equipment and materials
- self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can set up own practice

SA?Dental Technicians Council
P?O?Box 995
Pretoria, 0001
Tel:?(012) 342-4230

The Dental Technology Association of South Africa
P O Box 95340
Waterkloof, 0145
105 Club Ave
Waterkloof Heights
Tel: (012)-460-1155 Fax: (012) 460-9481

South African Dental Association (SADA)      
Private Bag 1
Houghton, 2041
Tel: (011) 484-5288 Fax: (011) 642-5718
Toll Free: 0800 11 07 25