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Dental technologists are the backbone that keeps Britain smiling.
Dental technology is a fast-growing industry, with patient demand increasing rapidly; there are 45,000 dental technicians already working in the UK.
As an individual looking into dentistry degrees, it may be difficult to recognise the difference between dentistry and a degree in dental technology. A dentist is a doctor who specialises in oral health, performing responsibilities including creating treatment plans to either maintain or restore their patients’ oral health, monitoring the growth and development of the teeth and jaws and performing surgical procedures on the teeth. However, as a dental technician, daily tasks would involve being responsible for designing, constructing, and repairing a variety of dental devices. While taking on a clinical role of helping to keep a smile on people’s faces by improving teeth and replacing lost ones, a dental technologist would typically find themselves working in any of the following specialisms:
- Fixed Prosthesis – Developing implants, crowns, and bridges under the direct instruction of a dentist’s prescription
- Maxillofacial – Reconstruction of faces that have been damaged by disease or an accident. This would involve working in hospital oral surgeries, burns units, and cancer units
- Orthodontics – Devices like braces to straighten teeth, or mouth guards
- Removable Prosthesis – Dentures and removable partial dentures
It’s clear that by taking on a dental technology career, technology and artificial intelligence will be a huge part of how you can complete your daily duties; and in a rapidly changing society where advancing technology is enhancing the way we live our lives, it’s no surprise that it is transforming the dentistry field. If you are a technically gifted individual wanting a hands-on career in an industry vital to keeping people smiling, then a degree in dental technology could be a great idea. Let’s talk through some of the key technologies transforming the industry today.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is a focal point of the way technology is transforming the dental industry. It provides a system with sufficient intelligence to perform, validate, evaluate, predict, and analyse tasks in a cost-effective and time-sensitive way. This means that the technology has the power to assist the dental profession when it comes to diagnostics, radiographic interpretations, the analysis of facial growth in orthodontia, and much more. Therefore, it is the opportunity that AI brings to provide more accurate diagnoses and superior patient care that is causing its positive impact on the future innovation of the dental industry. Ultimately, this is where the importance of a dental technology career comes into play. This is because the dentist has a customer-facing role, whereas the dental technician provides the technical assets created with the support of innovative technology helping transform the industry.
The Rise of Teledentistry
Like other medical services, dentistry was an industry that was affected during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to closures of general dental care. There has been a lasting effect on dental care for this because of findings by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute that despite practices being open again, more than 50% of dental surgeries report having lower patient numbers in comparison to the number they had pre-pandemic. This is where Teledentistry has had an impact; so, what is it? Essentially it is a way of bridging the gap by offering a digital solution for the delivery of dental consulting or basic examinations using digital tools like synchronous or asynchronous video. Teledentistry is proof that the dentistry field is embracing innovation in a growing digital society, and it has a strong acceptance rate among both dentists and patients. Dentists agree that it is seen as a viable substitute for in-person dental check-ups, while a survey of 228 public respondents resulted in 75.7% of patients admitting that they were comfortable accessing a dental consultation via video rather than in-person.
Virtual Reality for Dentists
Going to the dentist is rarely an enjoyable experience. So, how great would it be to have a digital distraction while having your check-up? This is where virtual reality comes in! In several ways, this could include patients having access to headsets with sound from ceiling-mounted TVs, giving them something better to focus on. The virtual reality process is proven to reduce the amount of pain that patients feel while sitting in the dentist’s chair. Not only this but the distraction it provides means that it can help in giving people a means of confronting their fear, which is important as studies have confirmed that around 75% of the adult generation have previously admitted to getting dental fear.
Why study a Degree in Dental Technology at the University of Bolton
Like the sound of a career in dentistry? By achieving a degree in dental technology, our students not only learn the technical skills to create vital crowns, bridges, and dentures that dentists need for direct use on patients, but they also graduate with a specialist degree that is only offered at four out of the UK’s 141 universities: with Bolton University being one of them!
If you are wondering why we are better than the other three universities offering this degree, let us tell you. Firstly, in a dental technology career, you must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), and our courses have this approval, meaning that our students graduate with the correct qualification to begin their journey towards achieving professional registration as a dental care professional. Not only this, but our students benefit from studying in our £4.8 million Centre for Dental Sciences, giving them the competitive advantage they need to excel in this technical, rewarding field. Within our excellent facilities are purpose-built dental laboratories, dental processing rooms, and a commercially sponsored digital dental laboratory.
Our support isn’t just limited to on-campus. Our dedicated Employability Team help our students gain access to work placements, giving them the industry-related skills in a working environment to combine their theoretical knowledge with industry practice to make a difference in the dental industry as soon as they graduate and start their career.
Interested in finding out more about a degree in dental technology at Bolton University? Have a look at our course details.
Need Further Study Advice?
Looked at our courses and still have questions about university? Register for one of our Study Advice Sessions. Whether you have more questions about our dental technology course, or you need advice on student finance, careers, student services support, or disability services, we are happy to help you with anything you need. At Bolton, we are proud to offer #UniAsItShouldBe, a friendly environment that puts our students and their needs first. This is why our students love life at Bolton and we have been voted first for Student Satisfaction for the past five years*; come and see why our positive, supportive learning environment is the right place to study.
Have a look at our available sessions; limited places available so booking is essential to attend:
- Friday 19 August, on-campus – 11am to 4pm
- Saturday 20 August, on-campus – 11am to 4pm
- Thursday 1 September, on-campus – 11am to 4pm
Is Clearing the right choice?
Demand for dental technologists is getting bigger and bigger, meaning that Clearing could help secure your place on a BSc (Hons) Dental Technology course. With the limited number of course places due to the small national availability of a degree in dental technology, there’s never been a more important time to consider applying through Clearing.
Need more information about applying through Clearing or how it might benefit you? Feel free to give us a call on 01204 903030 and we will be happy to help.
*Complete University Guide – 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 – Northwest
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