The Malta Independent 15 August 2022, Monday

Dental technologist’s day

Sunday, 29 May 2022, 08:57 Last update: about 4 months ago

The Malta Dental Technologists Association, MDTA, in collaboration with F.E.P.P.D., the European Federation for Dental Lab owners in Dental Technology Services, are promoting The Dental Technologist's Day, to be held on 3 June.

F.E.P.P.D. came up with the idea of informing the European dental patient of the exclusive role this autonomous profession holds in the dental professional team as the manufacturer of all forms of custom-made dental appliances.



What is the role of the dental technologist as is known locally?

The dental technologist forms part of the dental professional team, with the role of constructing a custom-made dental device for the identified dental patient, in collaboration with a dental practitioner. Alternatively, he services already in use devices, in repair and alteration as required.

A dental technologist may also manufacture specialised appliances. These devices may vary from orthodontic braces, meant to align proper tooth positions or functional and orthognatic appliances, constructed to improve occlusion and complicated jaw relationship, after surgery.

Other services provided include removable dentures in acrylic or chrome cobalt (metal framed), replacing partially or totally lost teeth in the oral cavity, to help the dental patient regain his original mastication and speech phonetics and fixed crown and bridge work, in a wide variety of materials and techniques including implant supported devices. These devices serve to preserve the oral tissue in the best condition possible. The dental technologist also has a role in maxillofacial restoration, in reconstructing faces damaged by disease or accidents.


Education and status of the profession

To-date, the basic dental technology course, held at the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the University of Malta, is a three-year course, awarding a B.Sc (Hons) in D.T. Within a scientific background, it takes a high element of manual dexterity and an eye for detail, along with IT knowledge to keep abreast of the modern technological innovations in our profession. Specialised courses are also being programmed to cover the several specialised sectors of this Healthcare Profession. To-date students may extend their studies to obtain an MSc in Gerodontology and in the near future, in Digital Dentistry at UOM.


Regulation of the profession

Locally the profession is regulated by Maltese law within the Health Professions Act, as an Allied Healthcare professional and any practicing qualified technologist is registered with the Council for the Professions Complementary to Medicine (CPCM), subject to a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct. As manufacturers of custom-made dental devices, dental technologists are obliged to conform by the Medical Devices Regulation.


Scope of the Dental Technologist's Day event

F.E.P.P.D. decided to launch this activity, using it as a means of awareness to expose singularly the profession of the dental technologist in its proper status, the legal standing and the services he/she provides in favour of the dental patient.

The scope of practice of a dental technologist differs from that of a dentist/dental surgeon as they are laboratory-based while that of the dentist is clinically-based. A dental technologist is not a dentist, however, together they strive to produce the best possible solutions for a patient's aesthetic and functional requirements. Communication and coordination between both practitioners is essential to allow the best possible evaluation and information for their client's needs.

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