What is a Dental Technician?
The Dental Technician (sometimes in the past known as a Dental Mechanic) is a highly skilled member of the dental team. He or she is often not seen when you go to the dental surgery because technicians work in Dental Laboratories, sometimes at a distance from the practice where work for several surgeries may be undertaken.
Dental technicians train for three years before gaining registration. The modern qualification is Dental Technology - BSc (Hons), and the qualified technician will have skills in Denture construction, Orthodontic appliances (Braces) or Ceramics (Crowns and Bridges). Usually a technician will go on to major in one of these areas to become more knowledgeable in that field.
What is a Clinical Dental Technician?
The Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) is a relatively new member of the Dental Team in the UK, however in many other countries they have existed for many years.
A Clinical Dental Technician must first be Dental technicians before they can commence further training to qualify and register with the General Dental Council which oversee dental registration in the UK.
Clinical Dental Technicians can treat patients, mainly for denture treatments, but also for mouthguards and anti-snoring devices. Depending on the needs of the patient, a dentist may need to see the patient first and decide upon a treatment plan. A CDT will inform the patient if this is the case and may direct them to a dentist with who they have a good working relationship. A CDT can work in the same building as the dentist or independently at their own practice.
Why would I go directly to a Clinical Dental Technician?
Many people who wear dentures prefer to go to CDTs because they have a deep phobia of Dental Surgeries (with the sound of the dentist's drill in the background!). Some patients just prefer dealing with the same person who will actually be setting the teeth in position and making the denture from start to finish. This means the patient can communicate their expectations directly as opposed to through the dental surgeon.
The CDT will direct the patient to a dentist for a dental examination at the beginning of a treatment if the patient has some natural teeth, dental implants or roots from natural teeth still remaining. This will often be included in the cost of treatment, and the CDT will use the dentist’s directions to ensure a successful treatment outcome.
Many progressive dental practices are employing CDTs in the same way they use dental hygienists, to free up the dentist’s time up to specialize in other treatments.
What materials are used in Dentures construction?
In the history of mankind, dentures have been made from all sorts of materials including human teeth, gold, ivory, wood, stainless steel and vulcanised rubber. In more modern times Acrylic plastic and Chrome Cobalt alloy have been the dominant materials used because of their workability, hard wearing and bio-compatibility in the mouth.
Plaster of Paris and wax are also used, but only to obtain the final denture, which is in fact a custom-made medical appliance, and as such the manufacturer (CDT and/or Dentist has to register with the overseeing body).
The pink-coloured denture base material is the same acrylic plastic the denture teeth are made from. There is a chemical bond or weld securing modern teeth to the base, whereas previously used Porcelain teeth did not have this bond, and are vary rarely used these days for this and other reasons.
The range or shades and quality of the teeth vary greatly, with the more expensive quality brands having multiple layers of colouring.
Just as in the manufacture of any item, the quality of the materials used in construction determines to a large extent the quality of the finished product.
The teeth used in denture construction vary greatly in quality and price. Bath Denture service uses very good quality materials to give the customer the very best finished product.
How much will I pay for my treatment?
Bath Denture Service does not strive to be a cheap alternative to the large dental practice; however it does strive to give a personalised service second to none, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client.
Getting away from the traditional clinical environment we endeavour to take the greatest time and care to listen, and in doing so achieve an end result that is pleasing, and a smile to be proud of.
Click here to see our pricing structure and other important information about your treatment.
How long will it take to make my new denture?
This depends very much on the number of teeth the denture replaces and the design of the denture. As a very quick answer, an all acrylic denture would take approximately three weeks to make, while a more complex design with possibly a lightweight metal framework, might take up to six weeks to construct. This may mean attending for treatment twice in some weeks.
Further visits may be needed to review and make adjustments to the denture after fitting.
Why does it take this amount of time to complete treatment?
To make a denture properly several visits or stages of treatment need to be observed.
Stage One: A talk with a CDT or Dentist about what your requirements and your expectations are. This visit might also include filling out a medical health questionnaire, an oral examination and having some initial impressions taken of your mouth.
Stage Two: From the initial impressions, custom-made impression trays are constructed, and secondary impressions are taken of the mouth. These impressions are more accurate than the previous ones taken, and from these more accurate impressions the "master models" will be poured in plaster of Paris to create a replica of the patient's mouth.
Stage Three: Using the "master models" wax blocks are constructed. These wax blocks are shaped, and softened in the treatment room and used to record how the patient's mouth bites together. At this visit a shade and shape of tooth is chosen to best suit the patient's skin colouring and shape of face.
The trimmed wax blocks enable the CDT to "mount" the master models on a Jig called an Articulator. This jig reproduces the basic movements of the mouth, and enables the teeth to be set in their correct positions.
Stage Four: Temporary trial dentures are placed in the mouth. These are made largely of wax, but hold the actual teeth used in the final denture.
The Trial denture is checked closely to make sure it is acceptable clinically and in appearance. If this is not the case, small changes can easily be made at this visit. If a large change is needed an extra trial stage would be necessary. When both the patient and the CDT are happy, the trial denture can be "finished"
Stage Five: After the trial dentures have been processed all the wax has been replaced with pink denture base acrylic resin (plastic). The finished dentures are then carefully fitted into the patient's mouth, making sure they feel comfortable and look correct.
The patient is shown how to place and take out the denture, plus tips on cleaning the denture and how to best adapt to the new denture.
Stage Six: Review of the completed treatment, including checking the mouth for reaction to the new denture, and possible adjustment of the denture itself.