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Dental Technicians

A dental technician is an essential member of the dental team and carries out all aspects of technical dentistry to complement the clinical work undertaken by the dentist. The dental technician participates in the complete dental service received by the patient.


The role of the dental technician

Dental technicians carry out the work prescribed by the dentist, which will generally come under one of three different types of dental technology. Individual technicians may specialise in any of these three dental technology disciplines, or in some cases will be proficient and work in all three.

These are:

Prosthodontics - Dentures

This area of dental technology requires the dental technician to design and construct full and partial dentures to replace missing natural teeth.

Conservation - Crown & Bridgework

This specialism within dental technology is usually referred to as crown and bridgework. The dentist will prescribe such work when the tooth or teeth have suffered severe external damage, but the supporting tissues remain healthy.


An orthodontic technician produces removable appliances, commonly known as 'braces', these are used to make adjustments to the positioning of teeth in the mouth. The technician will construct the removable appliance using wires which when tightened will provide sufficient force to slowly move the teeth to the required position to improve appearance and jaw function.

Pre-registration Training

The University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) Higher Education Diploma in Dental Technology:

This qualification has been designed to educate and train dental technicians.  On qualifying with the UHI DipHE in Dental Technology diplomates will be eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) and practice as a dental technician and use that title.  Like all new programmes within dentistry, the programme is subject to the award of sufficiency by the GDC.

The diploma programme is developed and delivered in collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, the University of Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital, NHS Grampian and NHS Education for Scotland.

The programme includes a mix of online, workplace and face-to-face elements. Students will study the course on a part-time basis over three years with workplace supervision from a registered dental technician. As well as online elements, the programme also includes two days' attendance at the state-of-the-art University of Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital each month. Modules on the course include dental laboratory skills, anatomy and physiology, orthodontic technology and designing and manufacturing dental appliances.

To request further information on the UHI DipHE in Dental Technology please click here 



For further information on a career in Dental Technology please click here.


Continuing Professional Development

Courses for registered dental technicians are continually updated and can be found and booked on the NES Portal.