A dental technology student’s thoughts on the industry

Dental technology university student, Eboni-Rose Williams, shares her perspective of the industry, her challenges so far, and how she was inspired to start a business during her studies. 

Dental technology university student Eboni-Rose Williams shares her perspective of the industry, her challenges so far and how she was inspired to start a business during her studies. 

Please introduce yourself and why you chose to get into dental technology?

My name is Eboni-Rose Williams. I am a second year dental technology student at Bolton University and also a course representative.

I am tooth obsessed and very passionate about dental technology! Teeth have always been the first thing I notice when meeting people. I remember being young and helping my nana brush her dentures.

From the age of 13 I have done work experience at many dental practices. Helping people with dental anxiety and trauma is my goal because I have seen the detrimental effects it has on my family members – I hope to eliminate this for everyone.

Dental technology is a somewhat hidden profession. I first found out about dental technology at a university fair. I met a lovely Bolton University representative who told me they offer the course. After doing lots of research I decided the creativity, science and hands-on nature was perfect to me.

What has been your experience as a dental technician student so far?

I love it! I have found that technicians are very kind and supportive to share tips and tricks, as well as answering any questions to help me learn and improve.

My confidence in my work and learning to take my own initiative when gaining new skills has improved. I am learning to manage timescales and pick up speed.

One of my biggest challenge was getting used to the dental handpiece and learning morphology on a more specific scale and how to replicate it. Another challenge was dealing with rude comments when expressing my passion for dental technology.

My most positive experiences are meeting fantastic mentors while visiting labs and my lecturers who are incredibly supportive.

My lecturer Hugo Sousa invited me to his fantastic in-depth anterior and posterior waxing up course. Others have been a massive support to me too and I am very grateful for their kindness and guidance.

Completing my first denture was an amazing feeling and seeing my progress with practice is really nice.

As a student, what are your thoughts on the industry?

I believe that the industry is at a very exciting time due to the ever growing possibilities of digital dental technology. I’m lucky that at Bolton University we have digital facilities and appliances on our curriculum which allows us to use CAD.

I think technicians deserve more recognition for their hard work as I have noticed how stressful the job can be and the amazing work they do.

Do you have any concerns about entering the industry after university?

I hope to find a good friendly lab to work at where I can grow and learn.

I have concerns about not being able to progress to be able to develop my skills and do high quality appliances. This is because some labs are focused on quantity over quality or do not have the time to teach. I want to do work at the highest standard that I am proud of.

Being at the forefront of developments and technology is exciting for me

Have you noticed any challenges?

Communication between technicians and clinicians is sometimes limited. It must be improved to ensure that the patient will receive the best possible outcome.

I think properly filled out prescriptions is important – it saves lab time and sanity, and ensures the appliance is produced correctly.


They should also communicate with new technologies, for example sending a 3D digital file to the dentist can improve communication. The dentist can then easily visualise what the technician is planning for each case.

What do you think the future looks like for labs?

I think very soon all labs will have to adapt to digital technology. Lab-to-lab work will be more common – I can imagine more labs outsourcing their designing and milling, or alternatively focusing on just designing.

Furthermore, through social media there is a growing community of technicians that are sharing their knowledge and skills which is really motivating. I think there will be more awareness of dental technology and it will become less of a hidden profession.

You have started a business while carrying out your studies. What is the story behind this?

My business, Digidental Technology, began when I received an email from my university enterprise team offering a course of free business classes. I spoke to my placement manager and teachers to gather ideas and then started researching.

It is important for me to build relationships with technicians and laboratories and not undercut prices. Therefore, I chose 3D printing as my focus to try and make the technology more accessible and affordable for laboratories. I know digital technology is the present, so I decided to teach myself so I can help others.

I applied for the Bolton Ignition fund and attended a panel interview (with little notice and preparation) while on holiday sat in a cafe in Krabi, Thailand! I won a prize of £1,000!

Me and my mum, sat in the same café in Phuket, celebrated with a chocolate cake. It was an incredible experience and built my confidence because a room full of professionals believed in my idea too.

Through my hard work, I won £3,500 total in the second and third phase of the Bolton Ignition Fund. The support from Jane Stuart-Puttnam and my mentors Jenney Matthews, Hugo Sousa, Dave Kennedy, Katie Noctor and Mark Chapman is amazing and helped me immensely. I am very grateful.

Improving skills

Digidental Technology LTD is focused on 3D printing dental educational models for students to make learning morphology easier, fun and interactive.

I produce 3D printed dental typodont model sets (with removable teeth) to help people learn morphology – they are a guide to follow when creating beautiful restorations. The feedback from my classmates has been amazing. They have found the models very helpful and they have significantly improved their skills.

I also make dental diagnostic wax up kits to practice waxing up crowns and bridges. This idea came as I am very passionate about improving my manual dexterity and enjoy challenging myself. I thought other students may want to do the same but not know where to begin.

I have learned to design custom impression trays using free software too. I am in the process of sending them to an industry expert for feedback.

As a student, how do you juggle your business with your studies?

My studies are my first priority. I organise my time as well as possible with planners and a diary. My business mentor Jenny Matthews has helped me improve my time management methods too, which is facilitated from my university.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I would like to inspire future and current students to get them engaged with dental technology. My goal is to keep on learning and developing my skills as much as possible.

I would love to create beautiful realistic restorations and hopefully make lots of patients happy with their smile. It would be incredible to make a difference, even if it’s small, and give people a smile that they are proud of.

I have a keen interest in maxillofacial prosthesis, implants, ceramics and composite dentures. Recently I attended a digital denture composite course which was amazing. I plan to study a master’s degree related to this after completing my bachelor’s.

My goal is to be part of or to create a charity to help people smile by giving them free dental restorations. Eventually, I would love to have a dental laboratory with valued employees.

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