Dental Technician


You may be interested in a career as a Dental Technician if you're the sort of person who:
  • enjoys working with tools and equipment
  • possesses a high degree of manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • is able to apply precise attention to detail to your work
  • possesses an artistic flair for form and design
  • is able to use your time effectively
  • has the ability to communicate well and
  • can concentrate for long periods of time

As a dental technician you will generally work in a laboratory creating, modifying or repairing a wide range of oral devices, known as “appliances”, designed to replace or repair missing teeth on the instructions of a dentist, specialist dentist or dental prosthetist.

A typical day

Working across five main areas of expertise, encompassing work on everything from crowns and bridges, dentures, implants and mouthguards to name a few, your days will be varied and could consist of the following activities;
  • Creating models of the mouth and teeth from impressions taken by a dentist, specialist dentist or dental prosthetist
  • Making replacement braces, retainers or dentures for a patient using plastic, metal or ceramic materials
  • Crafting braces, mouthguards and plates for correcting irregular or damaged teeth
  • Designing and constructing and repairing ceramic restorations such as crowns, bridges or dentures
  • Polishing and finishing braces or retainers before they are placed in a patient's mouth

The places you can work

The majority of dental technicians work in commercial dental laboratories, as owners of their own business or within a general private or specialist practice that maintains its own lab facilities (an increasingly rare occurrence).

Work can also be found in the Australian Defense Forces, public and private hospitals, and public health services.

If you own your laboratory, which may specialise in one area of technology such as cosmetics or crowns and bridges, you will likely be providing services to a number of dental practitioners, including possibly those in rural or regional areas.

You can also find employment as an educator at TAFE or university, a researcher working towards advances in materials or design, sales and marketing for a dental company, or as an editor of an industry magazine or journal.


Obtaining the necessary qualifications

The minimum standard for qualification as a dental technician is a 2 year Diploma of Dental Technology, available via TAFE, Griffith University in Queensland and private educational providers.

You can also choose to work as a Dental Laboratory Assistant which requires the completion of a Certificate III in Dental Laboratory Assisting.

To check on which vendors provide these courses in your state, please consult the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Your association is the Oral Health Professionals Association (OHPA)

Regulatory requirements

You are not required to be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

Currently dental technicians are not required to adhere to any licensing, legislative or certification requirements, although the laboratories in which they work must meet all their regulatory requirements. For further information on job prospects, earning, vacancies and training, consult Job Outlook