Dental Technician Kaihangarau Niho

Dental technicians create and repair devices for the treatment, replacement and protection of damaged, badly positioned or missing teeth.

Dental technicians need to be registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand, and hold an annual practising certificate.

Dental technicians work from a mould of a client's mouth made by a dentist or a clinical dental technician, and custom-make a range of appliances for the mouth, including:

  • crowns (covers for broken or damaged teeth)
  • dentures
  • removable orthodontic appliances (plates with wires to straighten teeth)
  • mouthguards
  • splints for broken or cracked jawbones
  • anti-snoring devices
  • teeth-whitening trays.

To specialise in an area of dental technology, such as clinical dental technology, you need to complete postgraduate study at the University of Otago.

Physical Requirements

Dental technicians need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and good hand-eye co-ordination.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dental technicians includes:

  • work in the dental services industry, such as dental assisting
  • any work requiring fine hand-eye co-ordination, such as making precision models or jewellery.

Personal Qualities

Dental technicians need to be:

  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • patient
  • practical
  • good at planning and problem-solving
  • creative.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for dental technicians includes:

  • work in the dental services industry, such as dental assisting
  • any work requiring fine hand-eye co-ordination, such as making precision models or jewellery.

Subject Recommendations

To enter tertiary training you need to have NCEA Level 3. Useful subjects include chemistry, biology, physics, maths and health education. 

Dental Technicians can earn around $39K-$48K per year per year.

Dental technicians may set up their own businesses, work in research and development with international dental companies, become sales representatives and technical advisers for international companies, or teach at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry. 

Dental technicians may specialise in the role of:

Clinical Dental Technician
Clinical dental technicians make full dentures, partial dentures and other oral devices, and work directly with patients to provide these.
Dental Technician

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