BS Dental Technology

Can a Dental Technician Become a Dental Surgeon?

Becoming a dental professional is a journey marked by dedication, passion, and continuous learning. While many start their careers as dental technicians, the question often arises: Can a dental technician transition into the role of a dental surgeon? In this article, we will explore the steps, challenges, and opportunities for dental technicians aspiring to become dental surgeons.

Dental Technician vs. Dental Surgeon

Before delving into the transition process, it’s essential to differentiate between the roles of a dental technician and a dental surgeon. 

A dental technician primarily focuses on crafting dental prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures, based on prescriptions provided by dentists. Their expertise lies in the precise fabrication of dental appliances to restore patients’ oral health and aesthetics.

On the other hand, a dental surgeon, also known as a dentist or oral surgeon, is responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral diseases and conditions. 

They perform a wide range of procedures, including tooth extractions, root canals, dental implants, and oral surgeries, to ensure optimal oral health for their patients.

Steps and Considerations

While the transition from a dental technician to a dental surgeon involves significant commitment and effort, it is indeed possible with the right approach. Here are the steps and considerations to guide aspiring dental technicians on this transformative journey:

Education and Training

The first step towards becoming a dental surgeon is acquiring the necessary education and training. Dental technicians with a background in dental technology may already possess foundational knowledge of oral anatomy, materials science, and dental procedures.

 However, they will need to pursue formal education in dentistry from accredited dental schools. This typically involves completing a pre-dental undergraduate program followed by a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.

Clinical Experience

Transitioning from a laboratory setting to clinical practice requires hands-on experience and clinical training. Dental technicians turned aspiring dental surgeons should seek opportunities to gain clinical experience through internships, externships, or dental assistant positions. This exposure allows them to familiarize themselves with patient care protocols, dental procedures, and the dynamics of working in a dental office or clinic.

Licensure and Certification

Upon completing dental school, graduates must obtain licensure to practice dentistry in their respective jurisdictions. Licensure requirements vary by state or country but typically involve passing national and state board examinations. 

Additionally, pursuing specialty certification in oral surgery or other dental disciplines enhances credibility and opens doors to advanced career opportunities.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

The journey from dental technician to dental surgeon is a lifelong learning process. Aspiring dental surgeons should prioritize continuing education and professional development to stay abreast of advancements in dental technology, surgical techniques, and patient care.

Participating in workshops, seminars, and conferences allows them to expand their knowledge and refine their skills.

Challenges and Opportunities

Transitioning from a dental technician to a dental surgeon presents its share of challenges and opportunities. One of the main challenges is adjusting to the demands of clinical practice, which require interpersonal skills, clinical judgment, and decision-making abilities beyond technical proficiency. Additionally, the rigorous nature of dental school and licensure examinations can be daunting for aspiring dental surgeons.

However, with perseverance, dedication, and a positive mindset, dental technicians can overcome these challenges and embrace the myriad opportunities that await them in the field of dentistry. As dental surgeons, they have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives by improving their oral health, restoring their smiles, and alleviating dental pain and discomfort.


In conclusion, the journey from dental technician to dental surgeon is a rewarding and transformative experience. While it requires dedication, perseverance, and continuous learning, it offers the opportunity to expand one’s skills, advance in their career, and make a positive difference in the lives of patients. 

By following the steps outlined in this article and embracing the challenges and opportunities along the way, dental technicians can successfully transition into the role of dental surgeons and embark on a fulfilling professional journey in the field of dentistry. Read more here!

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