Dental technicians are highly skilled professionals who play an essential role in the dental industry. They work alongside dentists to create custom-made dental appliances such as dentures, bridges, and braces. Dental technicians are highly trained individuals who use their technical expertise to manufacture and design dental appliances that help patients to improve their oral health.
In this article, we will discuss what a dental technician is, what their job entails, and the average dental technician salary in Nigeria.
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Who is a Dental Technician?
A dental technician is a skilled professional who designs and manufactures dental prosthetics. These prosthetics can range from simple appliances such as retainers and mouthguards to more complex ones such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. A dental technician works closely with dentists and other dental professionals to ensure that these prosthetics meet the individual needs of the patient.
The Work of a Dental Technician
The job of a dental technician involves a lot of technical skills and attention to detail. Some of the primary responsibilities of a dental technician include:
- Receiving dental impressions: A dental technician receives dental impressions of the patient's teeth and gums from the dentist. These impressions are used to create custom-made dental prosthetics.
- Designing and creating dental appliances: Once the dental technician has received the impressions, they use them to design and manufacture the dental appliance. This may involve the use of various materials such as metals, ceramics, and plastics.
- Collaborating with dental professionals: A dental technician works closely with dentists and other dental professionals to ensure that the dental appliances meet the patient's needs.
- Quality control: A dental technician is responsible for ensuring that the dental appliance is of high quality and meets the required standards.
Dental Technician Salary in Nigeria and in Other Countries
The salary of a dental technician in Nigeria varies depending on a variety of factors such as experience, qualifications, and location. According to Payscale, the average salary for a dental technician in Nigeria is ₦1,585,000 per year. However, this figure can range from ₦300,000 to ₦5,000,000 per year.
The salary of dental technicians in the USA and other countries varies depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and industry specialization. Here is a brief overview of the average salaries of dental technicians in the USA and a few other countries.
USA: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for dental laboratory technicians in the USA was $44,330 as of May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $28,900, and the highest 10% earned more than $72,040.
Canada: In Canada, the average annual salary for dental technicians is around CAD $50,000, according to Neuvoo. However, this can vary based on experience, education, and location.
It is essential to note that the salaries mentioned above are just averages, and actual salaries can vary based on many factors. Moreover, dental technicians may have the opportunity to increase their earnings through overtime, bonuses, and profit-sharing arrangements. Overall, dental technology can be a rewarding career, with opportunities for career advancement and personal growth.
The study of a Dental Technician
To become a dental technician, you need to have a diploma or certificate in dental technology. In Nigeria, there are several institutions that offer courses in dental technology. These include:
- Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu: This institution offers a National Diploma in Dental Technology.
- Lagos State College of Health Technology, Yaba: This institution offers a National Diploma in Dental Technology.
- University of Benin Teaching Hospital School of Dental Technology, Benin City: This institution offers a Higher National Diploma in Dental Technology.
Becoming a dental technician requires a combination of education, training, and hands-on experience. Here are the steps you can take to become a dental technician:
Step 1: Get your high school diploma or the equivalent. You must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent to begin a career in dental technology. Courses in math, computer science, biology, and chemistry will be useful since they supply the fundamental information needed for dental technology.
Step 2: Enroll in a programme for dental technicians The next step after earning a high school diploma or its equivalent is to enrol in a dental technician programme. Dental technology programmes are offered by a variety of institutions, including community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. Depending on the requirements of the school, a dental technician programme may span anywhere from six months to two years.
Step 3: The Dental Technician Program must be completed. You will study dental materials, anatomy, physiology, and dental laboratory operations while enrolled in the dental technician programme. Courses in CAD/CAM, 3D printing, and digital dentistry might also be offered as part of the curriculum. Additionally, you will get practical instruction in a dental laboratory where you will discover how to handle different instruments and apparatus.
Step 4: To get certified Although certification is not required to work as a dental technician, it may improve career opportunities and financial possibilities. Dental technicians may get certified by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC). You must succeed on both the written and practical exams to be certified.
Step 5: Get experience working The next stage is to get experience at a job after graduating from a dental technician degree and being certified. To obtain experience in the subject, you might work at a dental office or laboratory. You may create a portfolio of your work with the aid of work experience, which will be useful when applying for employment.
Dentistry technicians are highly qualified individuals that are essential to the dental sector. By supplying patients with specialised dental equipment, they play a crucial role in helping patients improve the state of their oral health.
The annual pay of a dental technician in Nigeria is around $1,585,000, however it might vary based on region and experience. In Nigeria, you must possess a dental technology diploma or certificate, which is provided by a number of educational institutes around the nation.