Originally published on the Georgia Straight.
There is much more to a dental career than what you see at the dentist’s office.
If you’re looking for a fulfilling career within the dental industry but want to avoid working in patients’ mouths, consider becoming a dental technician. You’ll be able to improve the lives and confidence of others from a distance through collaboration with dentistry professionals.
Behind the scenes, dental technicians are kept busy designing and making dental devices like crowns and bridges, dentures, orthodontics, and sports and night guards. They are highly trained in the use of traditional and digital technologies to develop these essential devices.
High school students typically don’t dream of becoming a dental technician as it is not a common career. Most dental technicians are introduced to the profession through family and friends.
Vancouver Community College (VCC) is the only public postsecondary institution in B.C. that offers the unique Dental Technology Sciences program. After completing the 2.5-year diploma program, graduates can become self-employed or work for commercial dental laboratories.
Dental technicians are well-respected within the industry and are depended upon by the dental profession. As the dentistry field continues to advance and grow, countless job opportunities are created for VCC graduates. Dental technicians are regulated and licensed by the College of Dental Technicians of BC.
According to the Dental Technicians Association of BC, the province currently has a shortage of skilled dental technicians, particularly in the areas of crown and bridge, ceramics, and orthodontics.
For the first time ever, VCC’s Dental Technology Sciences department is providing opportunities to audit the courses in the diploma program. Through auditing, an individual can expand their knowledge and skills in focused areas of study. This could include orthodontics, digital technology, or even biosciences.
“These courses can provide career pathways to improve your employment opportunities, remuneration, and lifestyle,” says department head Ken Izumi.
Audit students are expected to participate in the assignments and theory lectures of their selected courses. They will experience similar education, mentoring, and feedback as the full-time students but will not receive a credit grade.
To audit the courses included in VCC’s Dental Technology Sciences program, applicants need to be one of the following:
To apply for the Dental Technology Sciences diploma program and for course information, click here.