Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Assistants

(NOC 3223)

in All Health

Dental technologists and technicians design, prepare, and fabricate dentures and dental devices as prescribed by dentists and other specialists including full or partial dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, clasps and bands, and implants. Dental laboratory assistants assist dental technologists and technicians in preparing and fabricating dentures and other dental devices. They are employed in dental laboratories. Dental technologists and technicians who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 125. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Assistants most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 83% of Dental Technologists, Technicians and Laboratory Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $50,555. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$48,349

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$25.50

Median

$41.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Dental technologists and technicians design, prepare, and fabricate dentures and dental devices as prescribed by dentists and other specialists including full or partial dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, clasps and bands, and implants. Dental laboratory assistants assist dental technologists and technicians in preparing and fabricating dentures and other dental devices. They are employed in dental laboratories. Dental technologists and technicians who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job duties

Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Design, fabricate or repair dental devices including full or partial dentures, orthodontic appliances, crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, clasps and bands, and implants.
  • Prepare plaster models and moulds from dental impressions.
  • Prepare wax bite-blocks and impression trays.
  • Cast gold or metal alloys for bridges and denture bases.
  • Pack plastic material in moulds to form full or partial dentures.
  • Mould wax over denture set-up to form full contours of artificial gums.
  • Make orthodontic bands from gold, silver, stainless steel or other metals.
  • Finish metal framework of dentures and polish and buff dentures to obtain natural finish.
  • May consult with dentists or other specialists on problematic dental cases.
  • May train and supervise other dental technicians and dental laboratory assistants in fabricating dentures and other dental devices.
  • May perform administrative functions for the dental laboratory.

Sample job titles

  • dental laboratory assistant
  • dental laboratory bench worker
  • dental laboratory technician
  • dental technician
  • dental technician apprentice
  • dental technologist
  • orthodontic dental technician
  • registered dental technician
  • registered dental technologist

Skills

To work in this field, you should have good interpersonal skills and a desire to help others. Patience and the ability to handle stressful situations may be needed. You must be efficient and accurate, yet sensitive to the needs of patients. Hand-eye coordination and an aptitude for detailed and precise work are necessary. Artistic ability may also be helpful.

Job requirements

  • Dental technologists and technicians are required to complete a college program in dental technology or four or more years of on-the-job training under the supervision of a registered dental technologist or technician.
  • To practice in the province of Nova Scotia you must be a member of the Nova Scotia Dental Technicians Association.
  • Dental laboratory assistants usually require high school and up to two years of on-the-job training.

Other considerations

Dental laboratory assistants may progress to dental technologist and technician positions with training, experience and registration.

By the numbers

Quick look

130

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

26.9%

self employed

59.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
40.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.5

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

77.1%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

88.9%

Halifax

7.4%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

42.9%

Health Care and Social Assistance

32.1%

Textiles, Furniture and Other Manufacturing

10.7%

Educational Services

7.1%

Public Administration

7.1%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

What is the age of Employment?

50.0%

25-34

Compared to: All Health

31.4%

45-54

27.6%

35-44

20.5%

55-64

15.2%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

61.5%

College certificate or diploma

$57,995 median annual income
15.4%

Trades certificate

N/A
7.7%

University certificate or diploma

$53,367 median annual income
7.7%

High school

N/A
7.7%

Bachelor's degree

$54,899 median annual income

Compared to: All Health

39.4%

College certificate or diploma

$36,693 median annual income
27.6%

Bachelor's degree

$57,186 median annual income
7.2%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$83,000 median annual income
6.9%

High school

$24,119 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$87,808 median annual income

Education & training

Dental laboratory technology/technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of dentists, to design and construct dental prostheses such as caps, crowns, bridges, dentures, splints, and orthodontic appliances. These programs include courses in dental anatomy, dental materials, ceramics technology, impressions, complete dentures, partial dentures, orthodontics, crowns and bridges, sculpture, bonding and assembly techniques, and equipment operation.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Dental Technicians or Technologists

Right to Title: This job is regulated in Nova Scotia. The job title is protected (you may not use this job title without a professional designation). Professional designation shows that the holder has met provincial requirements for the job. Employers may require professional designation, however, you do not need professional designation to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Dental Technicians Association
26 Keating Drive
Chezzetcook, NS B0J 1N0
(902) 440-7131

Contacts

Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
380 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2L4
Tel: (902) 461-0871
Fax: (902) 461-9572

Additional resources

Job postings