Dental Laboratory Assistant

To complement the role of Dental Technicians who design, manufacture, modify and repair custom-made dental devices. It is recognised that many dental laboratories have opportunities for individuals who will assist, under supervision, in the manufacture of dental devices. This pathway is designed to be the initial stage leading to the role of assistant and giving the opportunity for entry to higher qualifications that develop individuals for professional registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) -

During the apprenticeship Dental Laboratory Assistants will develop basic competency in core laboratory skills before focusing on specific areas of employment. This includes primary stages in the manufacture of a range of dental devices, and may extend to one part of the manufacturing process in a dental laboratory, which may include crowns, bridges, dentures or orthodontics appliances.

Working as part of the Dental Team, Dental Laboratory Assistants will need to have knowledge of industrial regulations, health and safety compliance and meet communication standards. Dental Laboratory Assistants will always work under direct supervision of a registered and qualified Dental Technician who will be responsible for their work.


  • Recognise manufacturing requirements and meet the clinical standards for custom made dental devices, referring for advice from the Dental Technician as appropriate.
  • Assist Dental Technicians with some primary manufacturing stages, repairs, and modifications of conservation, prosthetic and orthodontic custom made dental devices, in line with individual patient prescriptions provided by the dentist, as defined in the following three areas:
  • Produce basic Casts/ Models fabricated accurately for prosthetic areas of appliance manufacture.
  • Produce occlusal rims and bases for complete and partial removable prosthetic cases.
  • Produce simple upper and lower special impression trays for actual patient cases
  • Set up a full upper to existing lower and a full lower to existing upper case.
  • Set up a simple temporary partial prosthesis.
  • Repair a simple fractured removable prosthesis.
  • Convert wax try-in dentures to a hard denture base by a conventional method.
  • Produce simple single tooth shaped restorations in wax.
  • Produce a simple temporary restoration in a tooth coloured material.
  • Create a post and core substructure.
  • Produce a component related to a conservation restoration ready for quality assurance review.
  • Produce models for appliance construction.
  • Manufacture the basic wire components of a removable orthodontic appliance.
  • Produce a simple orthodontic retainer.
  • Manufacture tooth whitening stents, gum shields and similar items to the prescription and for Quality Assurance by the Dental Technician.
  • Communicate effectively in the dental laboratory in both written and spoken word and is aware of the importance of good communication within the dental team and dental laboratory personnel.
  • Manage safety and decontamination risks around the laboratory by carrying out decontamination and infection control procedures, whilst taking into account their effect on materials.


  • The basic understanding of normal dental/oral anatomy and physiology.
  • The principles regarding the use of basic materials in the manufacture custom made dental devices.
  • A thorough understanding of the role of Dental Technicians and other dental team members in patient management.
  • The appropriate Health and Safety guidance related to the Dental Laboratory workplace and how to follow these.
  • How to utilise appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
  • The need for compliance with the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) and associated GDC guidelines such as Standards for Dental Professionals, Scope of Practice and Team working.


  • Proactive in their own development, willing to commit to lifelong learning and improvement.
  • Recognise and act within GDC standards, ethical guidance, information governance and relevant laws.
  • Willing to give and receive feedback effectively and tactfully within the wider dental team.
  • Ready to take responsibility for integrity of completed work, although to understand that ultimate responsibility will lie with the Dental Technician.

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprentices. Most candidates will have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C or above including English and Maths. Employers who recruit candidates without English and Maths GCSE at Grade C or above (or approved equivalent) must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.


Minimum 18 months

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Level 3 Diploma in Dental Technology.

On completion of this apprenticeship the apprentice can enter onto a Higher Apprenticeship. Completion of the higher apprenticeship enable individuals to register with the General Dental Council as a qualified Dental Technician.

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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