Celebrating National False Teeth Day

To celebrate National False Teeth Day, we hear from dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and lab owners from around the UK about why they love doing what they do.

Ashley Byrne – Associate director, Byrnes Dental Laboratory

Happy National False Tooth Day! Let me tell you a little story of the incredible world of a dental technician.

When I decided dental technology was for me, my dad questioned me straight away: ‘There are better ways to make a living. Are you sure?’. Well, that was it for me. When your dad says no, and you are a teenager, that pretty much cements your decision! I qualified with a degree, and I’ve never looked back.

I now lead Byrnes Dental Lab, an exciting and energetic team of 53 highly skilled people doing incredible things in the world of dental technology. My days of being on the bench are behind me now, as team leadership, innovation and steering a lab through challenging times plays better to my strengths.

Plus, in all honesty, the team I employ outshine me in just about everything – the master has become the junior, and I love seeing the growth of these talented people. I love being a lab owner, despite the fact it’s nearly broken me emotionally and financially on several occasions.

Challenging yet opportunistic

Our time right now is also possibly one of the most challenging yet opportunistic eras of being a dental laboratory owner. With technology, automation, software and AI coming to the forefront, it’s moving faster than ever. But the lack of technicians is hurting us all.

To keep up with this ever-changing industry, I travel the world, read the latest trends in both dental and general manufacture and, of course, continuously test new products and methods and keep driving innovation – all the time.

When I started, I was making 50 bite blocks, 50 special trays and pouring 100+ models a day in a dusty, messy and somewhat filthy environment. Roll forward 25+ years and now we use intraloral scans from the cloud, AI design, CAD designs, 3D printing, milling and all mixed with incredible artistry.

We make beautiful smiles in immaculate labs and are working normal hours. What an incredible time to be a dental technician!

Deepa Bharakhda – Senior dental technican, Dencraft Leicester

As a dental technician, I have the privilege of playing a pivotal role in crafting beautiful and functional smiles that have the power to transform lives. What I find most gratifying about being in this profession is the ability to restore not just a person’s smile, but also their confidence and overall quality of life. Working closely with specialists in-house allows me to witness firsthand the impact of my work on patients, which is incredibly rewarding.

One of the aspects I cherish most about my job is the opportunity to exercise my creativity in producing lifelike dentures that seamlessly blend aesthetics with functionality. It’s immensely satisfying to see my creations fitted in and making a difference in the lives of patients. The collaborative nature of the industry, where dental technicians and dentists work hand-in-hand, has led to remarkable advancements and achievements in achieving optimal results for patients.

Furthermore, I am proud to be part of a community of dental technicians who are dedicated to supporting, teaching, and sharing knowledge with one another. The exchange of ideas and techniques among technicians worldwide has enriched my skills and allowed me to continually grow in my profession.

In dentistry, collaboration is key, and it’s inspiring to see how we all come together with a common goal of delivering the best possible outcomes for our patients’ smiles. In essence, being a dental technician isn’t just about crafting dental appliances – it’s about making a meaningful difference in people’s lives. It’s about restoring confidence, improving functionality and, ultimately, bringing smiles to faces.

I am grateful to be part of such a dynamic and supportive industry/community where passion, creativity, and collaboration thrive, all in service of enhancing the wellbeing of our patients.

Kash Qureshi – Clinical dental technician and managing director, Bremadent Dental Laboratory

When you own a business, 95% of your time is spent on your business, so you can enjoy 5% of your time on the skill you have mastered.

I’ve been a dental technician for 19 years and pursued being a clinical dental technician due to my addiction of wanting to understand prosthetics from a clinical and technical aspect. I qualified at 23 years old and was the youngest clinical dental technician in the UK in 2013/14.

I love the fact our industry is becoming future proofed with digitalisation. Our industry is a heavily fragmented industry, with over 1,200 dental laboratories in the UK and a market cap of approximately £520 million.

Dental technology used to be very cut throat with a stigma about young people entering our industry – it used to be in the industrial age. But now we are in the information age which embraces the younger generation with more appealing technology, and with CAD/CAM and 3D printing.

Andrea Johnson – Dental technician and CEO of Den-tech

I am Andrea Johnson and I am a fulltime working technician and CEO/chair of charity Den-tech. I never imagined that I would be working in this industry when I left school. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed!

I have worked in retail, manufacturing, warehousing and cleaning jobs in my past life, but the sense of satisfaction I get from being able to make such a positive impact on another life through what I do as a dental technician is something that has kept me in this industry for nearly 20 years now.

It also led me to form my charity Den-tech alongside my founding trustees, Andrew Sinclair, Edward Mapley, Bob Williams and Delroy Reeves. Our mission at Den-tech is to provide affordable dental appliances to those patients who are in need and do not have the means to pay for them both in the UK and in developing countries.

We provide dentures and dental restorations to domestic abuse victims, the homeless and struggling veterans in the UK, and I want to take this opportunity to personally thank every member of the dental team that has supported us thus far. You have helped to change the lives of those in the most desperate of need and we cannot thank you enough!

I wish you all a truly amazing National False Teeth Day!

Matt Everatt – Director of S4S Dental and editor-in-chief of Laboratory

I’m Matt Everatt, editor-in-chief of Laboratory magazine and also a dental technician and director of S4S Dental Laboratory.

Today is National False Teeth Day! A big shout out to all of the dental technicians and clinical dental technicians that are making false teeth, and to all of the patients who wear false teeth and dentures.

In this day and age, the quality and types of false teeth available from highly skilled dental technicians is just phenomenal. Sometimes it’s difficult to see that people are wearing false teeth, and that’s down to the dental technicians and clinical dental technicians that are making these things.

Rest assured false teeth wearers, if you have got false teeth, you are in very good hands in the UK. There are many, many highly skilled dental technicians and dental labs that manufacture and make these false teeth. We make them in various different ways and methods, and now we also make them with 3D printers! So rest assured you are getting some very cool technology these days.

Happy False Teeth Day!

Kristina Vaitelyte – Dental technician based in Chester

Happy National False Teeth Day to all lovely people who are obsessed with teeth. I am proud to say I am one of them!

As a smile designer, my days are filled with creativity and innovation, and one of the most exciting aspects is the variety of projects that come my way. I am thrilled when my designs come to life, and knowing that we dental technicians are making a difference in someone’s life is truly rewarding.

Sharing knowledge and everyday learning is crucial. I love having an opportunity to work closely with other dental care professionals who share the same passion for dentistry to achieve great results.

Collaboration is key in this field as you will often need to communicate with dentists, nurses and your team members to ensure that the final restoration meets the patient’s needs and expectations. When you have a strong team bond with your team, it’s not just about getting the work done. It’s about creating a positive and uplifting atmosphere where everyone feels valued and supported.

Sense of belonging

I absolutely love my team. This sense of belonging and connection can lead to moments of genuine joy and laughter, where work doesn’t feel like work, but rather a fun and fulfilling experience. Furthermore, the field of digital dentistry is a never-ending playground.

With new advancements in software and hardware, there is always something new to learn and explore. This means that we, dental technicians, will never get bored as we continue to enhance our skills and stay at the forefront of digital dentistry. The dental technology community plays a crucial role in driving these advancements forward and it is one of the key factors why I am doing what I do.

Through conferences, webinars and online forums, professionals come together to share knowledge, experiences and best workflows. This collaboration fosters a supportive environment where innovation thrives, ultimately pushing this industry forward.

Patryk Szablowinski – Dental technician based in West Yorkshire

As a dental technician specialising in dentures, I find immense fulfilment in my job as it allows me to blend my artistic skills with the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. Crafting dentures is not just about creating functional dental appliances; it’s about restoring confidence, enabling proper speech and eating, and ultimately enhancing the quality of life for my patients. 

What truly drives my passion for this profession is the ability to help people in a tangible and meaningful way. For many of my patients, receiving dentures marks a significant milestone in their journey towards regaining a sense of normalcy and self-assurance. Knowing that my craftsmanship plays a pivotal role in this process fills me with a deep sense of purpose and satisfaction. 

The artistry involved in denture fabrication is often underestimated. It requires a keen eye for detail, precision in measurements, and an understanding of facial aesthetics to create dentures that not only fit comfortably but also look natural and lifelike. Every denture I craft is a testament to my dedication to excellence and my commitment to providing the best possible outcome for my patients. 

Positive impact

Beyond the technical aspects, what truly resonates with me is the positive impact I have on someone’s life through my work. Witnessing the transformation in a patient’s demeanour when they put on their new dentures for the first time is incredibly rewarding. It’s a moment of joy and gratitude that reminds me of the profound difference dentures can make in restoring confidence and self-esteem. 

Being able to make a positive impact on someone’s life through my skills and expertise is what makes my job so rewarding. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of creating dentures that not only restore function but also bring smiles to faces and restore a sense of dignity. 

In the world of denture specialisation, each set of dentures represents more than just a dental appliance; it’s a symbol of hope, transformation, and renewed vitality. And for me, there’s no greater joy than knowing that my work contributes to enhancing the quality of life for those I serve.

Gosia Ciepiela – Clinical dental technician based in Scotland

I have been working as a clinical dental technician for over three years, and best part of my job is definitely meeting new people and being able to help patients transform their lives.

Many of my patients suffer from dental anxiety and a lack of confidence. Very often they feel more comfortable to come to see me as a clinical dental technician for initial consultation which gives them the opportunity to see the practice, meet the team and build trust when you undergo the necessary dental treatment.

With only just over 400 clinical dental technicians in the whole UK, there is very little awareness of what we actually do. It is often confusing, not only for the patient but also for the dentist and other dental care professionals.

It is amazing to see more and more publications recognising clinical dental technicians, along with social media, professional magazines and dental awards. This helps the dental team understand our scope of practice and how valuable we are as a part of modern multidisciplinary team.

As clinical dental technicians, we are highly skilled dental care professionals and we have an in-depth understanding of the technical and clinical processes that are involved in both the construction and delivery of removable dental prosthesis.

I hope that in coming years we will see more and more dentists and practice owners appreciate the benefits of having a clinical dental technicians within their teams, to improve the workflow and increase the patient’s access to dental treatment.

Tony Atkins – Senior dental technician, Ceramic Designs Laboratory

I cannot think of any other profession that has afforded me the opportunity to be artistically creative, while combining the required precision of engineering and yet have a deep understanding of both biology and chemistry.

For me, these are fundamental elements in order to find solutions to the problems that our patients face. As an integral part of the dental team, we really do have the ability to change people’s lives one smile at a time.

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