What is a Dental Technician?
Dental technicians work in a laboratory which is usually remote from the dental clinic. Dental technicians work to the prescription of a dentist; they perform the laboratory aspects of dentistry – fabricating crowns and bridges, dentures, implants, maxillofacial and orthodontic appliances, which are intended for use by the patient. Dental technicians have good manual dexterity skills and are required to work with different materials for the fabrication of the various appliances. Dental technology is a changing field, with more emphasis on the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design)/CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) in the laboratory.
Dental Technology: The course for you?
The study of dental technology will appeal to you if you are interested in science and art, combined with working in a team. If you have an interest in oral health and are simultaneously creatively minded then dental technology may be for you. A good background in basic sciences and a flair for art or good manual dexterity skills are essential to becoming an excellent dental technician. Dental technology also requires precise and scientific expression therefore, good writing skills are important.
Dental Technology at Trinity
Trinity College Dublin is the only university in Ireland offering a degree in Dental Technology. The course is based in the Dublin Dental University Hospital, on the Trinity College, with state-of-the-art facilities, including Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) of dental appliances in close proximity to the clinical environment. Class sizes are small, ensuring that students receive considerable staff contact and the staff are actively involved in student progress throughout the programme.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
This course provides students with a well-rounded education in all aspects of dental technology whilst also challenging their ability to problem-solve. A Dental Technology degree provides the best foundation for the aspiring dental technician who may progress to work in a laboratory or be self-employed. Dental Technology offers the scope to work and travel abroad. The Dublin Dental University Hospital has recently introduced a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dental Technology; one of the prerequisites to securing a place on this course is a qualification in Dental Technology.
Your degree and what you’ll study
Dental Technology at Trinity is a three-year ordinary degree programme. Most of the teaching takes place in the Dublin Dental University Hospital (DDUH). The main aim of the course is to educate and train students to become part of the dental team for the planning, designing and fabrication of intra-oral appliances. Dental Technology is divided into four main areas – fixed prosthodontics, complete denture technology, removable denture technology and orthodontic technology. In the first and second years, a Dental Technology student will spend much of their time (6-8 x 3 hour sessions per week) in the DDUH teaching laboratory. The course is very much hands-on right from the start. Student numbers are small (6), which facilitates practical training of this nature. There is a strong emphasis on student integration with Dental Science students and some modules are integrated accordingly.
In the third year, students are assigned to the production laboratory for experience in providing a service to patients and clinicians. This offers a competitive advantage over graduates from many other universities. Liaison with the Dental Science students and clinical staff is encouraged and students are advised to attend in the clinic to observe their completed work in situ. There is the opportunity for students to be placed in external laboratories and there is a possibility of Erasmus exchange in this year too. Students will be busy throughout the year preparing a dissertation, which is presented at the end of the year in addition to a case portfolio of the practical work which the student has carried out over the course of the year.
First year modules
Second year modules
Third year modules