Practice Resources for Dental Technicians

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.

Standards and Guidance

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  1.  To uphold and advance the honour and dignity of the profession and its high standards of ethical conduct, a registrant must
    • be diligent and conscientious in serving the registrant’s patients, the public and the profession,
    • strive to increase the competence and prestige of the profession, and
    • respect the dignity and professional status of, and professional relationships with, his or her colleagues.
  2. Every registrant is charged with the duty to uphold the honour and dignity of the profession and to adhere strictly to the principles set out in this code.
  3. Registrants are given the privilege of self regulation under the Act and, accordingly, registrants must read and understand the Act, the Regulations, and the Bylaws and must strictly observe and perform their duties and obligations under them.
  4. A registrant must
    • execute his or her duties in a competent manner being guided at all times by the welfare and best interests of the patient and public,
    • keep confidential personal information about patients, colleagues and other dental or health care personnel unless disclosure is required by law, has been consented to by the affected person or is necessary and incidental to properly performing the profession,
    • only advertise in a truthful and professional manner consistent with the Bylaws,
    • not compromise professional judgement and integrity with motives of profit and personal advancement,
    • kindly but firmly insist upon doing only those things which his or her professional knowledge dictates to be in the best interest and welfare of patients and the public for whom dental technology services are requested,
    • not provide the services of dental technology or perform a Dental Technician’s supervisory functions while suffering from a physical or mental ailment, emotional disturbance or addiction to drugs or alcohol that may impair his or her ability to practice or constitute a danger to the public,
    • be responsible for recognizing his or her limitations, continuing to develop his or her own level of competence, and confirming clinical diagnosis and management in those areas of practice in which he or she has been educated,
    • not commit an act of professional misconduct of a sexual nature,
    • report to the College any behaviour or conduct of another registrant which is contrary to the Act, the Regulations or these Bylaws, and
    • respond to requests for information from the College respecting all matters within the jurisdiction of the College, and
    • not require, encourage or condone any act or omission of a registrant or any other person that would result in that registrant or other person contravening the Act, the Regulation or the Bylaws.

(1)

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.

(2)

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.

(3)

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.

  • A Dental Technician who owns, operates or manages a place of business offering dental technology services must
    • ensure that all prescriptions and records pertaining to dental technology services and containing personal information are safely and securely stored,
    • retain prescriptions for dental technology services for a period of not less than 6 years from the date of receipt,
    • ensure that all prescriptions and business records containing personal information are disposed of only by
      • transferring the record to another registrant or with the consent of the patient, to another health care agency or health care practitioner,
      • effectively destroying a physical record by utilizing a shredder or by complete burning, or
      • erasing information recorded or stored by electronic methods on tapes, disks or cassettes in a manner that ensures that the information cannot be reconstructed, and
    • make appropriate arrangements in the event that the registrant ceases to practice, becomes unable to practice or dies, to ensure the obligations to this section are carried out by another registrant, and
    • on written request of a patient or his or her authorized representative, provide copies of the patient’s prescription and any records pertaining to dental technology services provided to or on behalf of the patient.
  • Copies requested under subsection (1)(e) must be provided as soon as practicable but in any event not more than 45 days following the request.
  • A registrant may charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed 25 cents per photocopied page.
  • If an individual is required to provide documents or materials for the Board and the documents or materials are not in the English language, the individual must, at his or her expense, have certified translations of these documents or materials prepared in the English language.
  • No Dental Technician shall, through the use of audio, visual, electronic or other means, advertise or promote him or herself or his or her services or business in a way that is
    • false or misleading,
    • reasonably expected to mislead the public,
    • unverifiable, or
    • contrary to the public interest in the practice of the profession.
  • No Dental Technician shall advertise
    • in a manner that directly or indirectly claims or implies superiority regarding a service or product, other than with a reference to a manufacturer’s claim about materials used.
  • No Dental Technician shall engage or permit another person, on his behalf, to perform any of the activities referred to above.
  • A Dental Technician who, in any advertisement, includes a statement of fees for a specific service
    • must ensure that the statement sufficiently describes the fees and services so as to enable the recipient or intended recipient to understand the nature and extent of the services to be provided and the cost to the patient, and
    • must not in the advertisement compare the fees charged by the registrant with those charged by another registrant.
  • A Dental Technician must
    • retain for one year after the date of publication or broadcast of any advertisement or brochure, and
    • provide to the Board upon request,
      • a copy of any such publication,
      • a recording of any such broadcast made by use of any electronic media, including radio, television and the microwave transmission, and
      • a written record of when and where the publication or broadcast was made
  • On request of the Discipline Committee, Inquiry Committee or the Board, the Dental Technician must verify the statements made in his or her marketing activity.

All Dental Technician registrants must obtain and maintain professional liability insurance coverage in an amount of at least $1,000,000 per loss.

Brochures, Policies and Guidelines

A PDF version of this document can be found here.

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.

The College of Oral Health Professionals does not promote or support any specific product or system to address infection control. It does however currently recommend that:

  1. Personnel handling prosthesis, models, impressions or other items sent by dental offices be vaccinated against Hepatitis B and other infectious diseases in order that the possibility of disease acquisition and transmission can be minimized.

Registrants observe minimal standards of infection control and ensure there is a system in place to disinfect:

  • incoming work
  • work spaces
  • tools and accessories
  • work ready for shipping

The College recommends that all dental technicians have the following MINIMUM program in place:

  1. WEAR UTILITY GLOVES WHEN OPENING OR HANDLING INCOMING PACKAGES.
    1. (Use eye protection and a face mask if aerosols are expected and advise drivers of the risk of leaking or improperly closed packages.)
  2. DISCARD DISPOSABLE PACKAGING MATERIAL AND DISINFECT ALL REUSABLE OR RETURNABLE CONTAINERS.
  3. RINSE IMPRESSIONS, DENTURES, TRY-INS, REPAIRS, ETC. UNDER RUNNING WATER, USING CARE NOT TO SPLASH
  4. SOAK OR SPRAY ALL ITEMS WITH AN APPROPRIATE APPROVED DISINFECTANT
  5. CLEAN AND DISINFECT ALL WORK STATIONS AND SHIPPING/RECEIVING BENCHES BETWEEN EACH CASE, AND AT LEAST DAILY.
  6. REPLACE PUMICE FOR EACH NEW CASE AND REPAIR AT LEAST MIX WITH AN APPROPRIATE AND APPROVED DISINFECTANT AND USE A DISPOSABLE PLASTIC LINER.
  7. SOAK BRUSHES, RAG WHEELS, ETC. OVERNIGHT IN AN APPROPRIATE AND APPROVED DISINFECTANT.
  8. REGISTRANTS WHO SEE PATIENTS FOR MINOR REPAIRS OR SHADE VERIFICATION MUST FOLLOW ACCEPTED CLINICAL INFECTION CONTROL PROCEDURES.
  9. AFTER WORK IS COMPLETED, TREAT THE FINISHED CASE AGAIN WITH AN APPROPRIATE APPROVED DISINFECTANT BEFORE RETURNING TO THE DENTAL OFFICE.

A PDF version of this document can be found here.

DO
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”.

DON’T
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.

GENERAL

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.

WHO ARE DENTAL TECHNICIANS?

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:

  • has been trained in an approved dental technology program
  • has been tested and registered by the BC College of Oral Health Professionals
  • is required to take continuing education courses
  • must maintain practice standards
  • must adhere to a professional code of ethics

WHAT IS THE MANDATE?

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.

WHAT ARE THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COLLEGE?

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:

  • setting entry qualifications
  • registering qualified dental technicians
  • investigating complaints
  • disciplining registrants
  • communicating with the general public and the professional community.

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.

LOOKING FOR A CAREER?

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.

BC’s Dental Technicians

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:

  • jointly considering changes that are beneficial to the patient;
  • consulting with the dental technician regarding the shape, contour, materials, and methods of production.

What is the BC College of Oral Health Professionals?

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.

Our responsibilities:

  • setting entry qualifications
  • administering licensure examinations
  • registering qualified dental technicians
  • setting and monitoring:
    • practice standards
    • ethical standards
    • continuing education requirements
  • investigating complaints and disciplining registrants
  • communicating with the general public and the profession.

Do I benefit from receiving the services of a registered dental technician?

Because this is a regulated profession, you are assured that your appliance is being fabricated by a health professional who:

  • has been trained in an approved dental technology program
  • has been tested and registered by the BC College of Oral Health Professionals
  • is required to take continuing education courses
  • must maintain practice standard and adhere to a professional code of ethics.

Dental technicians pride themselves on their technical expertise and in the artistry of their work.

Will I ever meet my dental technician?

You may meet your dental technician if:

  • your dentist refers you to a dental laboratory to have your crown colour selected/ verified
  • your dentist calls in a dental technician to share technical expertise in planning a procedure
  • you attend at a dental laboratory to replace a tooth in a denture or to have a repair

A great career opportunity!

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.

Life-long learning

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.

Considering a career in dental technology?

Dental technicians are often people who have the following skills and interests:

  • Interest in health care and science
  • Excellent handeye coordination
  • Good colour perception
  • Interest in doing precision work
  • Creative artistic inclinations

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!

A PDF version of this document can be found here.

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:

  1. TECHNICAL
  2. HEALTH AND SAFETY
  3. INTERPERSONAL

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:

  • Are strongly advised to record the details and sequence of laboratory procedures that are to be observed by all laboratory employees who work directly with the public.
  • Will ensure that the services provided directly to the public occur in a dedicated area or, at minimum, in a designated area where the following protocols can be observed.

Dedicated or Designated Area

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:

  • The area must be adequately lit, well organized, and reflect a professional environment appropriate for the service being provided.
  • The area must have a hand washing facility or have one that is located within visible distance of the patient and be equipped with an appropriate anti-bacterial soap and paper towels.
  • Surfaces should not be porous, edges and joints should be sealed with a waterproof sealant, and the area must be cleaned frequently with an appropriate disinfectant.
  • Surfaces such as floors and sinks must be cleaned regularly and be free of visible debris. Cleaners with germicidal properties should be used to clean these surfaces.

When working with a patient Registrants must ensure that:

  • In the event they are providing colour matching services that requires the removal of a temporary, crown or bridge, that the patient attends the laboratory with a loosened
  • They prepare and package an appliance or restoration safely for delivery and provide clear instructions, when applicable, with respect to transportation and / or handling of the appliance or restoration between the laboratory and patient’s home or dental clinic.

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

  • Improper hand washing and gloving
  • Inadequately cleaned and sterilized instruments
  • Poorly cleaned and disinfected surfaces

and from

  • Breaks or lesions in the patient’s or Registrant’s hands or skin
  • Respiratory contamination/ airborne pathogens
  • Improper handling of oral devices
  • Exposure to mucous membranes
  • Exposure to blood borne pathogens

Universal precautions

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:

  • All surfaces in the dedicated or designated area are uncluttered, easily cleaned and disinfected. Registrants might consider the use of tessler covers or other barrier
  • All equipment, instruments, countertops and other dental equipment surfaces, such as handles or surfaces on lights, cabinets, drawer pulls, tray tables, chair switches or any other surface that is likely to be touched, should be disinfected or covered with an appropriate barrier material.
  • Surfaces that a patient could have touched are newly disinfected for each patient.
  • Colour matching shade tabs or buttons, impression trays, and all other items that will be in or near the patient’s mouth, are newly disinfected – and seen to have been newly disinfected – for each patient.
  • The finished restoration or appliance is cleaned and disinfected, prepared and packaged safely for delivery.
  • They do not provide services to patients if they have open sores or lesions on exposed areas of the skin or are considered to be infective.

Immunological and physical protection

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:

  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Measles
  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Influenza

To reduce the risk of disease transmission Registrants are reminded that:

  • A new face mask must be worn for each patient. An approved dry face mask is likely to be an effective barrier preventing the transmission of inhaled or exhaled potentially infectious materials. Eyewear can remain in place but should not be touched with un- gloved hands.
  • Eyes are entry portals for many bacteria and viruses. Consideration should be given to the use of an appropriate barrier such as glasses, goggles or a face shield.
  • Hands must be adequately washed – and seen to be washed – before putting on clean gloves, after the gloves are removed, and after any bare-handed touching of potentially contaminated surfaces or objects [Refer to standard protocol on how to wash hands in the dental care environment. 1]
  • Only new gloves are used – and seen to be used – with each patient. In the event that registrants elect to use latex gloves, inquire as to whether or not the patient has a latex allergy. [Refer to standard protocol on how to choose, put on, remove and dispose of gloves used for this purpose and in this setting. 1]
  • They should be aware of the risks of re-contamination caused by touching any object or item that has not been disinfected, once clean gloves are put on.
  • Ideally, when traveling from one work area to another, a new clean work gown should be worn for each patient. Alternatively, a clean work gown must be maintained for use in the dedicated or designated area only.
  • Laboratory attire should be washed appropriately and separately from any household or personal attire. [See standard protocol for waste & laundry management]

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:

  • Be mindful of the need for exemplary body hygiene that is essential in any activity that involves close contact with patients.
  • Consider the possibility of allergies in some patients to scents in make up and perfume.
  • Present themselves in a manner that merits the respect of the public for the health profession of dental technology in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards set out in the Colleges’ Bylaws.
  • Treat patients pleasantly in a professional and courteous manner and be considerate of any concerns they may have about visiting the laboratory.
  • Explain the services you are going to provide to the patient and document any possible issues that arise at this time. If appropriate, discuss the situation with the dentist before providing services especially if the patient’s expectations appear unreasonable or different from the dentist’s prescription.

Professional Misconduct of a Sexual Nature

To avoid any real or perceived problems in this area Registrants are strongly advised to:

  • Schedule patient appointments for services during normal business hours
  • Exercise their professional judgement to determine when it would be prudent to have a person of the same gender witness the provision of services, especially if the door to the dedicated or designated area will remain closed.

While some physical contact may be necessary during the provision of dental technology services, Registrants must ensure that they:

  • Do not engage in unnecessary touching of any kind. Be aware of the implications or possible misinterpretations of gestures, tone of voice or behaviour, which may cause discomfort, awkwardness or embarrassment.
  • Do not make any inappropriate remarks, inquiries or jokes about a patient’s body, attire or
  • Do not have any sexually explicit or other sexually oriented material that might be considered offensive in the dedicated or designated area, or where it may be visible to the patient.

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

  • sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the registrant and the patient,
  • touching, of a sexual nature, of the patient by the registrant, or
  • behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the registrant towards the patient,

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.

Governance of Dental Technicians

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.

  1. Health Professions Act – the Act is the umbrella legislation that provides the common regulatory framework for all health professions in BC.
  2. Regulations – Regulations are created by government for each health profession governed under the HPA.  They contain a scope of practice and a list of restricted activities outlining what individuals of each profession are authorized to do.
  3. Bylaws – Bylaws set out the operational specifics of each regulatory College.  The details included are: the duties and responsibilities of the Board, registration requirements and examination requirements.

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:

  • authorizes the establishment of health professions
  • defines and sets out the responsibilities and conduct of the Health Professions Council
  • addresses process for designation of a health profession
  • allows for establishment of colleges
  • describes mandate /structure of a college / and authority to make bylaws
  • addresses authority to inspect / inquire and discipline
  • addresses health profession corporations

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:

  • the BC College of Oral Health Professionals
  • that dental technology is a health profession
  • provides a scope of practice statement
  • establishes that “dental technician” is a title reserved for exclusive use by registrants
  • establishes the restricted activities that a registrant may perform
  • sets limitations on the services that a dental technician may perform

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:

  • board elections
  • annual general meetings
  • committee composition
  • registration
  • fees
  • continuing education requirements
  • supervision & delegation
  • Code of Ethics
  • Standards of Practice
  • inspections / inquiry / discipline
  • advertising
  • professional liability insurance
  • maintenance of records

Registrants of the College are required to practice in accordance with the Bylaws of the College and are responsible for becoming familiar with them.