Higher Apprenticeship in Health (Dental Technology) (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR04132
Issue number: 1
Issued: 25 January 2018

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Higher Apprenticeship in Health (Dental Technology) (Wales)
(PDF document 1.89 MB)

Issued by
Skills for Health

Contact name: Anne Clarke
Telephone number: 0117 922 1155
Please download the framework for email contact information.

Purpose

Definition:

An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience along with essential and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. On completion of the Apprenticeship, an apprentice will be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the General Dental Council.

About this framework: 

Skills for Health is committed to engaging with Welsh employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the development of Apprenticeship frameworks. Engagement and consultation is through e-consultation. Consultation ensured that employer views are reflected in this framework on the minimum duration, the on and off the job learning time, the inclusion of Essential Skills Wales and the inclusion of a qualification to meet the requirements of Essential Employability Skills. Apprentices will learn new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out real work as part of the healthcare team. As the Framework includes the Foundation Degree in Dental Technology (FdSC), it provides a competence based training route to qualifying as a Dental Technician, supporting patient care and delivery of dental care.

Workforce Information:

Dental technicians are dental care professionals and will work in commercial dental laboratories, the NHS (in hospitals, general practice and the community) and the armed forces. Many dental technicians are self-employed. On completion of a registerable qualification, they can register with the General Dental Council (GDC). Dental technician is predominantly a male profession. A Registrant report from the GDC in July 2017 cited 247 practising Dental technicians in Wales, with 182 male registrants and 65 female registrants which accounts for approximately 10% of the overall dental care professional workforce in Wales. A report from the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare in 2012, forecast that Wales would likely produce 20 new dental technicians per annum.

The Role of the Dental Technician
Dental technicians make and repair false teeth (dentures), crowns, bridges and other dental appliances, using impressions (moulds) and instructions usually prepared by a dentist or a doctor. Dental technicians also repair dentures directly to members of the public.

They are skilled at working with a range of materials from plastics, to metal and ceramics and use an impression (mould) of the patient's teeth and gums to make a cast or model from which to make the appliance. Dental technicians need detailed knowledge of the materials they use to ensure they make the most appropriate device to a high degree of accuracy in order to exactly match the patient’s teeth.

Once qualified and experienced, dental technicians can specialise in:

  • orthodontics
  • conservation (also called crown and bridge technology)
  • prosthodontics
  • maxillo-facial work.

A dental technician needs: 

  • the ability to use their hands skilfully, in detailed work
  • concentration and close attention to detail
  • the ability to use a range of hand and power tools
  • some artistic ability and the imagination to adapt techniques to solve problems.

Dental technicians work as part of a team, but will also involve working independently without close supervision.

Download framework

Higher Apprenticeship in Health (Dental Technology) (Wales)
(PDF document 1.89 MB)