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The Dental Technologist Association (DTA) urge all dental professionals and communities to support their local, UK Dental Technologists


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30 Jul 2020

Where will you get your denture, crowns and braces from?

With the shutdown of dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic and the slow, phased stages to the resumption of normal services offered to the public by dentists, dental technicians (also known as dental technologists) who create all the dentures, crowns, bridges and braces for individual patients via dentists, are currently in an extremely difficult situation. 

Having dedicated their lives to their career, these key workers in dentistry would normally be producing the various dental appliances needed by patients. However, currently and for the foreseeable future there will likely be insufficient prescribed work coming through to sustain these highly specialised dental team workers due to the restrictions in place on the number of appointments and types of services dentists are able to offer to the public.

Dental technologists are the oral healthcare unsung heroes. They study for years to be able to develop the knowledge and skills required to create precise, custom-made dental appliances.  Their work requires a high level of manual dexterity and attention to detail and an application of applied aesthetic values. Each patient is unique and no two pieces are the same, therefore much of the work is carefully done by hand to fine-tune each piece to the exact specification to make sure the device is comfortable and effective for the patient prior to the final fitting with the dentist. Dental technologists work with specialised equipment in the dental laboratory, use a wide range of materials and have knowledge about the properties and application of each of these materials in order to design and construct appliances to the prescription and with absolute precision. 

Whilst the dentists are being supported via the NHS, the country is likely to lose many of its professional dental technologists due to the lack of government support for these essential members of the dental team. Unless something radical is done before the next wave of COVID-19 or by the time the government funding schemes are phased out, there will be insufficient dental technologists within the dental care team to provide the appliances that patients require and the health of the population will likely suffer greatly.

 


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