Medical and dental prosthetic technicians design, fit, service and repair medical and dental and appliances following prescriptions or instructions established by a health devices professional. They may service a wide range of support instruments to correct physical medical or dental problems, such as neck braces, orthopaedic splints, artificial limbs, hearing aids, arch supports, dentures, and dental crowns and bridges (ILO, 2018)

RISK PROBABILITY BASED ON THE SEMINAL FREY AND OSBORNE STUDY

PROFESSIONAL GROUP CHARACTERISTICS AND SIMILAR OCCUPATIONS

Medical and Pharmaceutical Technicians

Medical and pharmaceutical technicians perform technical tasks to assist in diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease, injuries and impairments (ILO, 2018).

  • Medical Imaging and Therapeutic Equipment Technicians
  • Medical and Pathology Laboratory Technicians
  • Pharmaceutical Technicians and Assistants
  • Dental mechanic
  • Dental technician
  • Denturist
  • Orthopaedic appliance maker
  • Orthontic technician
  • Orthodontist

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Medical related professions are projected to increase as the baby boomer generation will get older (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018). Despite that, a number of technologies exist that have minimized the needs for specialized technicians in these occupations.

CAD/CAM (Computer – Aided Design and Manufacturing) technologies increase efficiency, help resolve labor issues (dentist can do that without technicians), and enable dental professionals to interact with each other and their patients. The materials and machining capabilities are improving drastically. CAD/CAM technology has advanced to the point when non-dentally trained individuals could run the technology and fabricate teeth restorations.

The CEREC system for dental professionals makes it possible to produce most of the whole ceramic crowns and veneers in one sitting. The patient does not have to wait or visit his dentist more than once and the complete ceramic-metalwork is done in a while.

This technologies extend to diagnostics and microbiological analyses that require limited human inputs and can produce fast, comprehensive and protection from human error results.

Finally, the Orthotic and Prosthetic technologies (O&P) have become very streamlined, faster, accurate and pleasant for patients and safer for clinicians.

This increasing manufacturing productivity of prosthetics, diagnosis, scanning etc. due to automation will likely slow the job growth for prosthetic technicians. They will be more involved in the design stage, using digital imaging techniques CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided modeling) and they will have to learn to use new software

These are specialized skills could provide a breathing space for technicians that collaborate with older orthodontists and will not be willing to invest the time and money to change their modus operandi. Part of them will stick with molds, which will sustain the technical profession for a number of years to come.

Case examples

Dentsply Sirona

The company has innovated dental CAD/CAM technologies (CEREC) that allowed dental restorations to become a single day affair.

https://corporate.dentsplysirona.com/en/dental-professionals/cad-cam.html

Biomerieux

The company produces products for healthcare laboratories with as much automation of procedures, identification database and the maximum automated procedures for rapid and accurate results.
“…This can take over routine lab tasks and medical technicians can move into another area, where they can utilize their special knowledge and take more analytical function in the lab…”
http://www.biomerieux-usa.com/clinical/vitek-2-healthcare

Vorum

This company produces software that analyses, modifies, and fabricates prosthetics in an efficient and productive manner ” “It’s time for our industry to join the digital age. An architect could not compete today without using computer-aided design tools, and the same will soon be true for custom orthotic and prosthetic providers.” – – Nolan Hayday, Business Manager, Karl Hager Limb & Brace“
http://vorum.com/cad-cam-prosthetic-orthotic/

Categories: Skill Level 3