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We asked Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Occupation Details

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Dental Technician

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€27k > 42
Dental Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€27 - 42
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
HSE.ie

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Makes and repairs false teeth and other dental fixtures using both metal and plastic.


Videos & Interviews header image

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Go..Dental Laboratory Technician - from: YouTube Video

Go..Search YouTube for Dental Technician videos

The Work header image

Dental technicians make and repair crowns, bridges and other dental appliances using prescriptions and impressions taken by a dentist. They use a wide range of materials such as gold, porcelain and plastic.  
Dental technicians need to have a detailed knowledge of the make up and use of these materials, in order to design and make dental appliances.  
 
Once qualified and experienced, dental technicians may specialise in orthodontics, conservation, prosthodontics or maxillo-facial work. Orthodontic appliances are made to correct irregularities in the position of teeth within the jaws, improve the patient's appearance and prevent problems later in life.  
 
In conservation technology, materials such as ceramics are used to construct both crowns that restore natural teeth, and bridges to replace missing ones.  
 
If a patient has lost several teeth in the same part of the mouth, the dentist may not be able to use a bridge and so dentures are prescribed. This specialism is known as prosthodontics. Technicians working in this area must take great care to make sure that the dentures fit precisely and look attractive. This work mainly takes place in laboratories.  
 
Technicians who specialise in maxillo-facial work are based in hospitals. They work under the direct supervision of a dental surgeon. They design and manufacture appliances that restore the faces of patients who have been injured or who have undergone extensive facial surgery. Appliances need to be constructed in such a way as to improve appearance and the patient's ability to eat and speak. This is a highly skilled specialism requiring advanced training.  
 
Dental technicians may also manufacture splints that support the patient's jaw so that the surgeon is able to operate. The number of technicians employed in this aspect of the work is relatively small.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Read prescriptions or specifications and examine models or impressions to determine the design of dental products to be constructed.

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Fabricate, alter, or repair dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.

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Remove excess metal or porcelain and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines.

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Melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.

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Test appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.

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Apply porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.

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Place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.

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Create a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.

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Train or supervise other dental technicians or dental laboratory bench workers.

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Build and shape wax teeth, using small hand instruments and information from observations or dentists' specifications.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Medicine and Dentistry: Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

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Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You need a dental knowledge, technical and manual skills and artistic ability. You need to have the imagination to adapt techniques to tackle individual problems. Each dental problem is unique and can be approached in several different ways.  
 
Good concentration is required. As well as hand tools, technicians use welding, grinding and polishing machines. These processes may generate dust, which could be a problem for you if you suffer with asthma.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Dental Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Dental Association
Address: Unit 2, Leopardstown Office Park, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Tel: (01) 295 0072
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Dublin Dental University Hospital
Address: Trinity College Dublin, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 612 7315
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Dental Health Foundation Ireland
Address: PO Box 12343Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 672 8870
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Dental Council of Ireland
Address: 57 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 2069
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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