Q. WHERE CAN I TRAIN TO BECOME A DENTAL TECHNICIAN?
There are five Colleges in Canada that provide training in Dental Technology:
- CDI College, Surrey, British Columbia
- Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta
- George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario
- College Edouard-Montpetit, Montreal, Quebec
Q. WHAT DOES A DENTAL TECHNICIAN DO EXACTLY?
Simply put they are health care professionals, who are in charge of creating dental tools and appliances asked for by your local dentist, or requested by your denturist. Some of the things that they make include: inlays and onlays, crowns, bridges and dental ceramics, partial and complete dentures, appliances used in orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgeries, and any other appliances used in dental specialties.
Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FROM THE SERVICES OF A REGISTERED DENTAL TECHNICIAN?
You are guaranteed your equipment has been designed and created by a regulated health professional who:
- has successfully completed extensive education and hands-on training
- has been examined and fully registered by the College of Dental Technicians of BC
- has is up-to-date with the current technology as they are required to take continuing education courses
- must uphold adhere to a professional code of ethics and the practice standards
- is held responsible for services offered to the College
- is fully insured and has professional liability insurance.
Q. WHERE DO DENTAL TECHNICIANS WORK?
The majority of Dental Technicians own and work out of their own commercial dental laboratories. The rest of Dental Technicians operate out of small laboratories, which will have approximately 2 - 5 employees. In British Columbia, there are about 300 laboratories and approximately 6 of those laboratories have over 30 workers.
Q. WHEN WOULD I MEET THE DENTAL TECHNICIAN WHO HAS MADE MY APPLIANCE?
You may meet your Dental Technician if the following happens:
- you need to pick and/or confirm the colour of your crown and your Dentist refers you to to a dental laboratory
- in planning your procedure, technical expertise is needed by a Dental Technician
- you need a denture tooth replacement or are in need of structural repair of a removable dental appliance and thus would visit a dental laboratory.
Q. DO I PAY MY DENTAL TECHNICIAN DIRECTLY?
No, this will be paid by your Dentist or Denturt. The Dental Technician will directly charge your Dentist for their services. In certain situations, the insurance plan you have may have a set a laboratory fee that they will cover. The Dental Technicians College requires that any savings negotiated for the service charges are passed on to you directly, therefore you will only be charge what your dentist was billed for the laboratory service. Since this is the case, your Dentist or Denturists will be the best person to contact to confer about the actual lab fee.
Q. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS SHOULD I HAVE IF I AM CONSIDERING BECOMING A DENTAL TECHNICIAN?
Dental Technology is a combination of skill, art and science. The majority instruction schools recommend to have the following attributes to be a successful student:
- an passion for health care, and sciences in general
- the aptitude to develop skills with small hand instruments
- a keen fascination in performing precision work
- outstanding hand-eye coordination
- the capability to be detailed oriented
- to have the talent of being artistic creative
- have a keen eye for color perception
Q. HOW DO I KNOW THE APPLIANCE MY DENTIST WAS MADE BY A REGISTERED DENTAL TECHNICIAN?
Make sure to ask your Dentist. However, in some cases, Dentists may choose a non-registrants for their practice. Another way to confirm if your appliance was made by a registered Dental Technician is to contact the College of Dental Technicians of BC directly or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. CAN I WORK IN A LABORATORY WHILE I AM STUDYING OR IS IT POSSIBLE TO WORK IN A LABORATORY WITHOUT BEING A DENTAL TECHNICIAN?
Yes, you are allowed to work in a laboratory while you are studying as a Dental Technician Assistant, where you will be under the supervision of a Dental Technician. However, make sure you are registered with the College BEFORE you begin working in the laboratory.
Q. IF I HAVE BEEN TRAINED OUTSIDE OF CANADA, WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A REGISTERED DENTAL TECHNICIAN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA?
The registration requirements are located under Registration, in the Registrant Pages at College of Dental Technicians of BC website (www.cdt.bc.ca). For a complete registration package, make sure to directly communicate the College office.
All applicants must be able to work in Canada, and which usually means being a Canadian Citizens or landed immigrant.
Q. IS THERE A NEED FOR DENTAL TECHNICIANS IN BC?
Yes, there is! Currently, B.C. is suffering from a lack of skilled Dental Technicians, specifically for ceramics, orthodontics, crowns and bridges. Interested people waiting to becoming a Dental Technician or with skills in the field can also work as Assistants to Dental Technicians. To provide any dental technician service in BC, you must first register with the College.
Dental Technology offers many challenges and opportunities such as:
- the opportunity to be mobile
- the ability to work part time
- you can be your own boss and start your own business
- the chance to work together with associated dental health professions
- the fulfilment of offering an vital health service.
<Source: The College of Dental Technicians of BC, Vancouver Community College>