UniversityUniversity of Otago
This course is available
Level of Study
Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma
Dental technicians work as part of the dental care team within a dental laboratory, and don’t have direct contact with patients. They design and construct artificial teeth (in various forms), and removable orthodontic appliances.
Working with dentists, technicians use a wide range of materials, including gold, porcelain and acrylic, to design and construct appliances to meet each patient’s needs.
The fact that the products they make can affect the health and appearance of a person demands a high level of responsibility and accuracy.
Dental technicians work with their hands on detailed and delicate items and have good hand to eye co-ordination. A dental technician learns to visualise in a 3D perspective. They typically have an eye for detail to get things just right.
Dental technology is a global profession. Throughout the world, there is a high demand for skilled dental technicians. The high skill base that New Zealand dental technicians achieve makes them desirable to overseas employers.
In New Zealand and Australia, dental technicians are employed by commercial dental laboratories. These laboratories provide the bulk of work for the private dental industry, the defence forces, hospitals and state dental services.
The ratio of employer to employee is approximately 1:3, and many dental technicians ultimately set up business for themselves. There are no barriers to becoming self-employed.
The areas within the profession are diverse, with individuals specialising in different areas of dental technology.