Are you thinking about becoming a denture specialist? Becoming a denturist can be an exciting career change for people interested in the healthcare field. Here are five things you need to know about making this career change.
1. What Denture Specialists Do
Before you become a denture specialist, you need to know exactly what denturists do every day. Denture specialists work directly with patients, either as part of a dental office or on their own. They split their time between patient rooms and dental laboratories. In patient rooms, you’ll collect medical information from patients, inspect their mouths, and take impressions. Then, you’ll head to the laboratory to create patients’ dentures. Depending on the patients’ needs, the dentures can be partial, full, or dentures over implants.
As a denturist, you won’t always be creating brand-new dentures for patients. Some of your patients will already have dentures, but those dentures will be damaged or poorly fitting. In these situations, you’ll need to repair their dentures or adjust them. Adjusting dentures can include relining or rebasing to get a good fit.
2. Where to Study Denturism
Denturism is a niche field of study. There are only six colleges in all of Canada that offer denturism programs. Four of these colleges are in Ontario, and Oxford College is one of them.
Choosing a college is a very big decision. Before you choose a college, carefully research your choices. Some factors to consider include the content of each diploma program, the location of the college, and the cost of tuition. If possible, take a tour of the college to make sure you like the environment and the instructors.
3. What to Expect from Denturism College Programs
After choosing a denturism college program, you may be wondering what you’ll learn. These programs teach students a mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills. You’ll be taught by experienced instructors who have real-world experience in the field of denturism.
Theoretical knowledge may include dental psychology in aging patients, dental materials, or orofacial anatomy. It can also include public health, oral pathology, or microbiology.
Hands-on skills are the skills you’ll need to actually make and repair dentures. You’ll learn how to measure patients’ jaws, how to take impressions, and how to build dentures from scratch. You’ll also learn how to reline and rebase dentures to make them fit more comfortably. You’ll also learn how to repair damaged dentures.
4. Getting Certified as a Denturist
Denturists are healthcare professionals, and they need to get certified before they can see patients. In Ontario, denturists are certified through the College of Denturists of Ontario (CDO). Other provinces have similar regulatory bodies.
The CDO certification examination has two parts. The first part is a multiple-choice written examination. You’ll need to answer questions about the theoretical skills you learned in college. The second part is a clinical examination. During this section, you’ll need to display your hands-on skills.
5. Finding Work as a Denturist
The whole point of going back to college to become a denturist is to get work. But, where do you find work once you’re a certified denturist? Fortunately, there are plenty of job opportunities for denturists.
As a denturist, you can get work in private dental offices. Dentists know how to make dentures, but in busy practices, they may not have time to do it themselves. In these large practices, you could work on-site with patients and create dentures. You could also find work in specialized denture practices. Or, you could even start your own denture clinic. There are many options, so keep an open mind while you’re job searching.