Changes in dentistry, dental materials and technology, e.g. digital workflow, international trade of dental laboratory products and changing attitudes toward collaboration make it necessary to redefine the relationship between the dental laboratory technician and the dentist.
Dental laboratory technician1: A member of the dental team who constructs and repairs custom made dental devices such as inlays, onlays, crowns, veneers, bridges, full or partial dentures, space maintainers, retainers, and labial or lingual arch wires, according to the dentist’s prescription.
1. General responsibilities
Dentistry is a complex medical science with professional standards, it includes the prevention, diagnosis and rehabilitative treatment of diseases and malformations of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and jaws, including the treatment of lesions of the teeth and the replacement of missing teeth, in order to restore functional oral health.
The Dental laboratory technician is responsible for custom made devices according to the specifications detailed in the prescription provided by the dentist. Therefore, FDI World Dental Federation:
- Opposes any kind of diagnosis, planning or treatment of patients by dental laboratory technicians.
- Opposes any kind of undergraduate and post-graduate training or education programmes which claim to provide the dental laboratory technician with the title and/or status of a qualified, independent healthcare provider.
- Warns the authorities in all countries of the potentially harmful consequences for the health of the population if the rights privilege to treat patients were to be granted to dental laboratory technicians.
2. Working relationship
When dental treatment involves collaboration between a dentist and a dental laboratory technician for the purpose of providing the best possible oral healthcare to the population, the dentist should use the services of a duly qualified dental laboratory technician.
2.1 The dentist should:
- comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities in the performance of all clinical procedures;
- be solely responsible for both the diagnosis and the follow-up actions thereby ensuring the continuing care of the patient;
- assume the legal responsibilities in relation to the patient for both the clinical treatments and the prescribed devices from the dental laboratory technician;
- enable the dental laboratory technician to provide the highest quality of service by providing best information (impression, models, photo, data) and in writing specific directions and specifications in respect of the services prescribed;
- receive and keep the certificate of conformity for the prescribed custom made device; and
- protect all data in relation to the patient’s medical condition and treatment records.
2.2 The dental laboratory technician should:
- practice within the limits of the dental laboratory technician’s scope of work as defined by law and regulation;
- undergo lifelong continuing professional development including updated knowledge of infection control;
- accept and follow the prescriptions, directions and material specifications provided by the dentist;
- communicate with the dentist with respect to alternative or new techniques, materials and procedures;
- ensure the use of only certified products and methods for a high standard service;
- as manufacturer, deliver the certificate of conformity of a prescribed custom made device to the dentist;
- comply with the instructions, guidelines and advice provided by the manufacturers of materials used in fabricating dental devices;
- assume the legal responsibilities for work within the laboratory as specified by the laws and regulations of the country, state and/or governmental jurisdiction;
- provide the dentist with all necessary information about the laboratory work performed, including all materials used; and
- protect all data including the personal Information of the patient and his/her dental devices.
- This person may have different titles in different countries. i.e technologist