Our practice-related resources provide important guidance for registrants in meeting the standards of practice. Dental technicians are responsible for reading BCCOHP’s publications to ensure they are aware of current news and of BCCOHP policies, standards and guidelines.
All registrants must
(a) work within his or her scope of practice of dental technology and capability and comply with any applicable restrictions or conditions on his or her practice,
(b) maintain currency in knowledge and skill in dental technology and upgrade that knowledge and skill with the development of new procedures and equipment,
(c) take full responsibility for the services he or she provides or authorizes personnel under his or her supervision to provide,
(d) observe the supervision requirements as set out in the Bylaws and in any guidelines published by the board,
(e) follow proper business principles and procedures in respect to his or her practice,
(f) comply with infection control standards set by the board, and
(g) keep accurate and complete records.
A Dental Technician must
(a) be able to describe and apply competently general laboratory procedures, principles of physics and general science associated with the fabrication of dental prostheses,
(b) be able to describe characteristics and properties of dental materials associated with the fabrication of dental prosthetic devices and appliances,
(c) be able to describe characteristics of, and operate competently equipment and instrumentation associated with the fabrication of dental prostheses,
(d) be able to describe and apply competently information regarding basic elements of head and neck anatomy, dental anatomy, dental physiology, tooth morphology and pathological conditions relevant to dental technology, and
(e) be able to describe and apply competently basic elements of business and laboratory management.
All registrants who are responsible for managing a place of business offering dental technology services, supervising non-registrants within the meaning of section 11.12 of the bylaws, or authorizing aspects of practice to non-registrants to provide, must
(a) implement a procedure to verify that all dental technology services are provided under the authority of and in accordance with prescriptions issued by a dentist or medical practitioner as applicable, or on the written direction of a denturist, who is licensed to practice.
All Dental Technician registrants must obtain and maintain professional liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least $1,000,000 per loss.
The dental laboratory environment is potentially a source of many infectious diseases.
Health professionals working in a dental laboratory environment may be exposed to hepatitis, aids, herpes or other infectious diseases through contact with blood, saliva and debris on impressions, dentures, crowns, bridges, appliances and other items or, in some instances, through direct patient contact.
Awareness of infectious disease control is the responsibility of the health professional. Dental technician registrants should be aware of the potential risk to themselves, or the potential loss of income or legal action that may occur if they spread infectious diseases to someone else. There are many sources of information and education regarding appropriate infection control measures for the commercial laboratory.
BCCOHP does not promote or support any specific product or system to address infection control. It does however currently recommend that:
Registrants observe minimal standards of infection control and ensure there is a system in place to disinfect:
The College recommends that all dental technicians have the following MINIMUM program in place:
1. Do clean and disinfect floors, cabinets, sinks, etc. as required with an effective surface disinfectant.
2. Do discard all packing materials from potentially contaminated cases.
3. Do wear masks for all grinding and polishing procedures.
4. Do wear protective glasses.
5. Do use gloves or finger protectors if hands have nicks or cuts.
6. Do multiple washing of hands between cases.
7. Do wear clean fresh protective clothing.
8. Do ultrasonically clean instruments whenever possible.
9. Do sterilize potentially contaminated instruments whenever possible.
10. Do disinfect work trays between uses.
11. Do disinfect only those items that cannot be sterilized.
12. Do train personnel to think ”cross contamination”.
13. Do train personnel to think “disinfection and sterilization”.
14. Do train personnel to think “legally”.
1. Don’t delegate duties to janitorial services without providing supervision.
2. Don’t reuse questionable packing material.
3. Don’t inhale contaminants.
4. Don’t rub eyes.
5. Don’t reuse contaminated gloves.
6. Don’t reuse towels or use bar soaps.
7. Don’t wear contaminated clothes.
8. Don’t hand scrub instruments, especially without heavy gloves.
9. Don’t use cold disinfectants for instruments that can be heat sterilized if a sterilizer is available.
10. Don’t delegate to untrained personnel.
11. Don’t use disinfectants too long without changing.
In BC, only dental technicians registered with the BC College of Oral Health Professionals can use the title ‘Dental Technician’ and ‘Registered Dental Technician’ and the abbreviation “RDT”. There are approximately 330 dental technicians and a number of students currently licensed to provide laboratory services in approximately 300 dental laboratories in British Columbia.
Dental technicians are considered to be the “artists” of the dental health team, and are the ones who actually fabricate the appliances or restorations that your dentist might prescribe for you. Dental technicians usually work in commercial dental laboratories of varying sizes, which can be found in cities all over the province. Occasionally a dentist may employ someone directly in their own office for the exclusive use of their practice, and these employees are not required to be registered with the College. Most often it would be an orthodontist who would do this. Dental technicians are highly skilled and have been trained to make complete dentures, partial dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, implant restorations, orthodontic appliances, and many other devices used in dentistry. A dental technician works closely with your dentist to help you to keep, or to create, a beautiful smile!
Because dental technology is a regulated profession, you can be assured that your appliance is being fabricated by a health professional who:
The mandate of the BC College of Oral Health Professionals states that:
It is the duty of this college at all times to serve and protect the public, and to exercise its powers and discharge its responsibilities under all enactments in the public interest.
The College does this by ensuring that everyone providing the services of a dental technician is registered with the College, and is qualified and competent to provide those services. Both dentists and members of the public can be sure that the person providing their dental technology services is registered by calling the College office during regular business hours. The Public Register is available for viewing on the College website, and the office staff is also available to answer questions about the current registration status of its registrants.
The College Board must govern, control and administer the affairs of the College according to the Act, the Regulation, and the Bylaws. The College is responsible both to the public and to the provincial government, and must submit an annual report to the Ministry of Health on its activities.
Some of the College’s responsibilities include:
The College has set standards of practice, a code of ethics, and continuing education requirements for its registrants and is continually monitoring its standards to ensure they are current with present trends in the field of dental technology.
The various committees struck by the Board conduct much of the business of the College while the registrar manages the daily operation of the College office and staff. In some instances the Board delegates its authority to a specific committee, and in others, the Board will receive recommendations from a particular committee.
Registrants may forward their written comments to any Board or committee member by addressing their concerns to the member c/o the College office. All material received, related to committee matters, is forwarded to the attention of the appropriate committee.
A career in dental technology is one that is continually evolving, with new products and services being developed practically on a daily basis. The need for properly trained individuals in the work force is growing, and a well-trained dental technician has the potential for a career with a great future.
If you enjoy doing fine work with your hands and possess a good eye for detail, a career as a dental technician may be for you. There are a number of colleges, both in Canada and the US, that offer a program in dental technology, including Vancouver Community College.
If you would like more information about becoming a dental technician, contact us.
Dental technicians are health professionals who are trained, tested, and qualified to fabricate and supply dental appliances.
Many dental technicians operate their own commercial dental laboratories, while others work as employees in dental laboratories.
Your dentist will send your impression, together with a prescription, to the laboratory of a dental technician where the fabrication and/or repair of your dental appliance will take place.
Dental technicians and dentists work closely together as a team. Dentists utilize and rely on the dental technician’s professional expertise in the filling of prescriptions, by:
BCCOHP serves the public by regulating 15,000 oral health professionals, including certified dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians, dentists and denturists.
Our role is to ensure that oral health professionals are qualified, competent and following clearly defined standards of practice and ethics. We investigate complaints and take action in the event that an oral health professional is practising unsafely or incompetently.
Because this is a regulated profession, you are assured that your appliance is being fabricated by a health professional who:
Dental technicians pride themselves on their technical expertise and in the artistry of their work.
You may meet your dental technician if:
Are you looking for an exciting career with a great future? Do you like doing precision work with your hands? Does a profession that will continue to grow and evolve, along with a potential for earning a good wage interest you? If so, then a career as a dental technician may be what you are looking for!
Dental technician services will always be required and, as more people become interested in cosmetic dentistry, the need for highly skilled technicians grows.
The science of dental technology is constantly evolving as new materials and cutting edge techniques are developed and made available to the dental technician for the creation of natural-looking restorations.
Dental technicians are considered the artists of the dental health team. Each new restoration presents a different challenge. Each new restoration is a different creation.
Dental technicians are often people who have the following skills and interests:
If you see yourself in the list above, perhaps you could be a future dental technician. Contact us and see where your future may lead!
In keeping with this duty, it is the policy of the College to support Registrants who are routinely asked to provide services integral to the fabrication of dental appliances that involves direct contact with members of the public.
Registrants who choose to welcome patients into their laboratories should be aware that provision of dental technician services directly to the public increases their responsibility and their exposure with respect to professional conduct and health and safety issues.
The following policy and guidelines are designed to raise Registrants’ general awareness of these responsibilities and exposures and to provide information about general professional protocols that should, and in some cases must, be observed in order to provide – and be seen to be providing – safe, professional services.
Registrants should refer to these guidelines when they are asked by a dentist to consult or provide technical service with respect to provision of a repair, a correct shade/ the aesthetic positioning of ceramic or acrylic teeth in a removable appliance, or any other activity in which they may come into direct contact with the public while providing dental technology services.
Registrants should also refer to various sections of the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and the College’s published Infection Control Guidelines as they pertain to the issues addressed below.
This “Contact with the Public” Policy and Guidelines addresses the following three main areas of responsibility:
1These guidelines are not intended to be either comprehensive or definitive. The College requires all dental technicians to be informed and current with respect to infection control procedures through their continuing education program. Registrants are also expected to access other sources of information including the College’s General Infection Control Guidelines, and to obtain up-to-date information from their family doctor and organizations such as Workers’ Compensation Board, Health Canada Online, and the Centre For Disease Control and Prevention with respect to infection control issues.
Registrants providing services directly to the public:
A dedicated or designated area is that part of the laboratory that is set aside for, or can be set aside for, the purpose of seeing patients. Registrants must ensure that this area meets the following guidelines:
When working with a patient Registrants must ensure that:
Because public confidence and a patient’s comfort level is greatly increased when they know they are being provided with quality services by a regulated health care professional, Registrants are encouraged to display materials indicating their registration or regulatory status in the dedicated or designated area.
Registrants might also consider making available any other written materials that would assist the patient in understanding the role and expertise of the dental technician. The College also encourages Registrants to advise their clients of the protocols observed when providing services to their clients’ patients.
The transmission of diseases can occur in the dedicated or designated area of the dental laboratory from
As not all patients may have infectious diseases that can be identified or are identifiable by the Registrant, universal precautions must be implemented. We refer Registrants to the College’s General Infection Control Guidelines, and repeat precautions for the specific services that involve interaction with a patient, as follows.
To ensure a safe and healthy work environment Registrants must ensure that:
For their own personal health and safety, as well as that of their families and patients, Registrants are strongly advised to access up-to-date information and advice from their family doctor regarding the need to have vaccinations currently recommended for dental health care providers including:
To reduce the risk of disease transmission Registrants are reminded that:
1 As an example of standard protocols referred to in 2.8, 2.9 and 2.13, see the Workers’ Compensation Board’s WorkSafe brochure HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C: Preventing Exposure at Work. The College also encourages Registrants to keep up-to-date with changes and new developments that may impact on their health and safety responsibilities. Useful reference sources include, Canadian Dental Association www.cda-adc.ca Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov Health Canada www.hc-sc.gc.ca Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures www.osap.org Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Oral Health Program) www.cdc.gov/oralhealth The World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en
Registrants will know that the requirements implicit in a professional relationship begin with the first point of contact with a patient, and that effective professional communication is essential to assure a good patient/client/Registrant relationship.
When working with a member of the public Registrants are expected to:
To avoid any real or perceived problems in this area Registrants are strongly advised to:
While some physical contact may be necessary during the provision of dental technology services, Registrants must ensure that they:
Registrants are reminded that professional misconduct of a sexual nature is specifically defined in the bylaws as:
behaviour that includes but is not limited to
but does not include touching, behaviour and remarks by the registrant towards the patient that are of a clinical nature appropriate to the service being provided.
Registrants are at risk of being found guilty of sexual misconduct even if they did not intend to offend, based on the patient’s perception. “It was a joke” or “I meant the remark as a compliment” is not an acceptable defense.
Professional misconduct of a sexual nature, if proven by a patient in a court of law, may lead to a civil claim for damages or a criminal conviction.
The College reiterates that the supervising Dental Technician is completely responsible for all dental technology services that are provided to the public and will be held accountable to the College for those services.
The College Bylaws require all dental technicians to obtain and maintain individual professional liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least $1,000,000 per loss.
There are three main components involved in dental technicians being regulated under the Health Professions Act.
These include the HPA, the Dental Technicians Regulation, and BCCOHP Bylaws.
On December 7, 1995 dental technology became a designated health profession under the Health Professions Act (HPA).
The Health Professions Act is the omnibus legislation that:
Dental technology is regulated by the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals in accordance with the HPA, the Dental Technicians Regulation and the College Bylaws.
The Government of BC is responsible for providing the most current copy of the Health Professions Act. A copy of the current Act is available for purchase through Crown Publications at 250-386-4636 or by electronic mail at www.crownpub.bc.ca.
Regulations are created by government for each health profession governed under the Health Professions Act. This piece of legislation establishes:
Dental technicians are registered individuals who fabricate dental appliances which are prescribed by a dentist or requested by a denturist. The complete scope of practice is set out in the Dental Technicians Regulation (note that this document was up-to-date until August 23, 2022). You can view the September 1 regulation amendments here.
Each regulatory College has a set of Bylaws that govern the operation of the organization.
The Bylaws include details regarding:
Registrants of the College are required to practice in accordance with the Bylaws of the College and are responsible for becoming familiar with them.