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Zahntechniker/in - Dental technician

Country: Germany
Type of training: Work-linked training
High School Leaving Certificate: Baccalauréat scientifique
Training duration: Anytime

What does a dental technician do?

Manufacture of dental products: Whether it is a complete artificial denture or an implant for a single tooth: Dentists manufacture all products for the teeth and jaws. These include various racks and rails. The special challenge is to customise the individual parts according to the patient's current impression. The individual impressions are taken by the dentist during the treatment and then passed on to the dental technician. To produce the products, the dental technicians use numerous technical tools, such as articulators, which can imitate the chewing movements in the plaster model. Only then is the final product manufactured.

Repair and cleaning of dental products: A knee brace that has worn out, a broken tooth in a denture or tartar on a removable dental appliance? Repairing and cleaning dental products are part of the daily routine of a dental technician. For cleaning, an ultrasonic device is usually used, special adhesive mixtures for repair. If a product is no longer to be repaired, a second impression must be made by a dentist in a dental practice. Afterwards, it is the dental technician's turn to make a completely new appliance.

Advice for patients and dentists: Dentists can decide whether an inlay is sufficient - i.e. an alternative to a filling, made by the dentist - or whether a bridge should be used immediately. In difficult cases, doctors and technicians talk to each other and evaluate the different possibilities. Many dental technicians also advise patients on a larger scale. The patients then ask their dentist for the recommended products and have them made by the desired dental technician.

What work clothes do dental technicians wear?

They wear protective clothing. This includes work coats, protective gloves, mouth guards and protective glasses.

What kind of person do I need to be to become a dental technician?

Perfectionist: Precise work is essential in this profession. Dentures or jaw adjusters must be carefully prepared on presentation. If not, the product may have to be completely redone, which costs time and money.

Technicians : In the field of dental engineering, technical devices are, as the name suggests, important tools. Whether it is brazing or welding equipment: safe handling of the machines is a prerequisite for this training profession.

Level of organisation : Coping with time constraints is often cumbersome. The art is to prioritise orders accordingly so that all tasks can be done one after the other and customers are not kept waiting.

How does the training for a dental technician work?

The dual training course lasts three and a half years, but can be shortened on special request. After one and a half years, your training will be followed by an intermediate examination to raise the current level of learning. Finally, there is the management examination before the Chamber of Trade. This consists of a written part and a practical part in which the apprentices must, for example, make a bridge with a crown. If you fail the examination, you will usually have two more attempts to pass.

What does a dental technician learn at vocational school?

The theoretical training at the vocational school consists of 13 learning areas. Future dental technicians attend vocational school two days a week or several weeks per block. As a rule, apprentices must be trained in all important dental subjects. This includes learning the specialist language that enables dentists to communicate and express themselves professionally, both in conversation and in forms.

1st year of training: The first year of training, as well as the practical phase of training, is devoted to model making. The students learn from the start which materials are used for this purpose and how the resulting waste can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. In addition, the human denture and the jaw are also the focus of their movements in order to be able to manufacture suitable products later on.

3rd year of training : What are the properties of each metal and how do they react to heat? In the third year of training, apprentices are taught about the metals used in dental technology. Other important materials, such as plastics and ceramics, are also taught. The future dental technicians will also learn how to recognise and correct errors in their work.

4th year of training : In the last section of training, the entire quality control process and the topic of fittings - combined with information on attachment to the tooth - will be discussed. In addition, future dental technicians learn how to make their own rails and racks.

What does a dental technician learn in the practice?

At the beginning of the training, the future dental technicians first learn how to handle plaster and how to transform it into a denture impression model, thanks to post-processing carried out by a vacuum mixer and a vibrator that distributes the plaster to all corners of the template. In this project, the student will learn how to use tools and machines.

For example, they remove scale from the racks with a sandblaster. Hygiene is important at every stage, which is why future dentists must learn all the rules. At the end of the training, the trainees are guided to be able to manufacture any type of dental product themselves and to safely master all computer programs.

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