When you need dentures, your dentist will help you to make the right choices about the design and the construction of your dentures. They will also do a lot of the preparation work, including taking X-rays and moulds of your teeth so that dentures can be constructed from them. However, the majority of dentists are not able to make the dentures themselves. This job is performed by a group of people known as dental technicians or clinical dental technicians. They make and sometimes even fit dentures and partial dentures for dental patients in the UK.
A clinical dental technician in the UK must be a qualified dental technician who has been trained in the skills required to create accurate and well-fitting dentures. The clinical dental technician will have the qualification Dip. CDT RCS, and this qualification should be ratified by the RCS (Royal College of Surgeons). In addition, you can also expect them to have membership of the General Dental Council, the regulatory body that oversees the work of clinical dental technicians and ensures that their work is to the standard required. The clinical dental technician who makes dentures must have completed their study, or they will not be able to legally make dentures, and instead will have to work for dentists who are ordering the dentures.
The majority of dental technicians will only make the denture, but a small number of them will work with dentists to size and fit the dentures (clinical dental technicians). Often, they are involved from the start of the process, taking the impression from your gums. The dentures they make can not only replace the teeth, but can also cover bone loss and receding gums which can cause dentures to become very sore.
The clinical dental technician will not be involved directly in the removal of your teeth, but they are entitled to check your mouth, and give an oral examination, in order to make sure that your mouth is healthy and in a fit state to take the dentures. They may also ask you for a full medical history in order to help them establish that you are in good health. Regular dental technicians will not provide this service, as it is only the clinical teams that can do this part of the job.