If you’re thinking about getting dentures or own a pair already, you have heard the terms dental technician and dental prosthetist is thrown around quite a bit. Though the two professions have a lot of similarities, there are a few instances where a dental prosthetists skill might be more appropriate for a job and vice versa. We take a look at the difference between dental technician and dental prosthetist and some of the common dental appliances they work on.
Difference Between Dental Technician and Dental Prosthetist
What does a dental technician do?
A dental technician is someone who constructs and repairs dentures and dental appliances such as mouthguards, crowns and more. They tend to work in a laboratory, where they can specialise in partial and full dentures, crowns, bridges, orthodontic appliances, implants, or ceramics.
A Day in a Dental Technician’s Life
Wondering what does a dental technician typically do in a day? Duties a dental technician may perform include:
- Creating porcelain veneers and crowns.
- Creating plaster models of dentures.
- Building and polishing teeth on dentures.
- Maintaining laboratory records and preparing reports.
- Fabricating maxillo-facial prostheses.
What does a dental prosthetist do?
Dental prosthetists are originally trained as dental technicians but have completed more training so they can work as an independent contractor. Dental prosthetists typically provide diagnostic, preventive, and fabrication services to create and repair dentures and make mouthguards.
A Day in a Dental Prosthetist’s Life
Wondering what does a dental prosthetist do in a day? In addition to the above duties, a dental prosthetist may perform the following tasks:
- Assessment, treatment and provision of removable dentures and dental appliances.
- Managing a laboratory and dental technicians.
- Constructing and repairing partial or full dentures.
- Creating mouthguards from dental impressions.
Some common dental appliances a dental technician might create:
Dental crowns, bridges and implants
A dental technician works alongside a dentist to create a dental crown that perfectly suits a patient’s teeth. A dentist will make an impression using a putty like material that’s to be placed inside a patient’s mouth. They will then send the impression to a laboratory, where a dental technician will begin constructing a crown by mixing appropriate materials and shaping the crown to exact measurements. Using fine artistry, a dental technician will then paint the crown to match the patient’s tooth colour and size and shape of surrounding teeth. The process is similar for dental bridges and implants, with the latter involving an adding in a special titanium screw.
Full or partial dentures
Using a special tray, a dental prosthetist will make an impression of a patient’s mouth and conduct a bite check. At this stage, a dental prosthetist will discuss with you the size, shape, and colour of your new teeth, before sending that information to a laboratory. A dental technician will then create a plaster model from the impressions and place it in an articulator (a device that mimics the movement of a jaw). This makes it easier for a dental technician to attach teeth to the model and shape the gums. Once the acrylic has cured, a dental technician will clean and trim the gums and teeth before sending it to the dentist.
Dental technicians that specialise in orthodontic appliances work alongside an orthodontist to create metal braces and retainers. The type of artistry needed for orthodontics is different from crowns and bridges, as close care needs to be taken to ensure the appliances fit precisely over a patient’s teeth.
Denture clinic Brisbane
We hope our article has given you an idea of the difference between dental technician and dental prosthetist. If you have any questions about dental appliances, get in touch with Denture Health Clinic today by calling us on 1300 304 092 or booking an appointment online.