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NOC Code: NOC Code: 3221 Occupation: Denturists
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Denturists examine patients and design, construct and repair removable dentures. Most denturists work in private practice. Denturists examine patients and design, construct and repair removable dentures. Most denturists work in private practice.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read product labels to obtain instructions for use, health warnings and first aid procedures. (1)
  • Read about new products in catalogues, brochures and pamphlets. (2)
  • Refer to instructional and technical manuals for dental devices and denture manufacturing equipment. Scan these texts to find out how to operate and troubleshoot equipment such as dental attachments and denture polishing machines. (3)
  • Read referral letters from dentists and oral surgeons which describe specific work to be performed on patients, provide relevant medical background information and discuss recent radiological examinations. (3)
  • Read articles in industry magazines such as Denturism Canada to learn about recent studies and new clinical procedures. (3)
  • Review provincial acts and regulations governing denturist practice to understand legal responsibilities and the limitations of the practice. (4)
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Writing
  • Write short notes in patients' records about examination results, planned treatments, procedures performed, patients'questions and comments, drug allergies, referrals and reminders. (1)
  • Write explanations in patient claim forms or memos to insurance companies to outline justifications for specific procedures and fees. Write letters of explanation to insurance companies when asked for additional information about claims. (2)
  • Write short referral and follow-up notes to dentists or dental specialists outlining concerns to be addressed, number and types of implants to be inserted and their locations and expected mobility. The notes are succinct yet cover the relevant information. (2)
  • Write detailed instructions for dental laboratories, addressing the manufacture of partial dentures or those for individual teeth required for denture fabrication. The instructions describe the size, type, composition and placement of teeth and dentures. (2)
  • Write advertising brochures and education materials for patients. For example, write instructions for patients explaining how to care for new dentures or exert muscular control to keep dentures in place. Describe the tissue changes expected with new dentures and the expected wear and tear over time. Try to keep the writing informative and the tone reassuring. (3)
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Document Use
  • Enter patients' appointment times into books and electronic office management software. (1)
  • Review patient medical questionnaires, physician referral and consent forms before treatment. Check for serious medical conditions, medications being taken and signatures to indicate that patients understand and agree to proposed denturist treatments. (2)
  • Scan regulated fee schedules for allowable charges when billing patients, dental supply catalogues to locate items and corresponding prices, and product labels for amounts, concentrations, expiry dates and toxicity warnings. (2)
  • Complete entry forms. Enter product codes and prices of materials such as denture shade guides and impressions into order forms and patient identification information, dates, descriptions of services provided, costs and fee codes into intake and service estimate forms. Complete work order forms for dental laboratories, specifying the fabrication requirements of dentures, partial dentures and dental appliances. (2)
  • Refer to tooth colour charts to select appropriate codes for patients' prostheses. (2)
  • Record data in patient charts, management software programs and referral forms. Enter contact data, mouth diagrams, treatment notes, charges, payments and dentition charts to indicate the diameter, length, shape, angles and colour of teeth. (3)
  • Interpret assembly drawings in equipment manuals to set up, operate and troubleshoot equipment such as denture wax curing machines. (3)
  • Interpret radiographs of patients' dental structures. Identify the location of implants and develop plans for denture implements such as partial dentures. (4)
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Computer Use
  • Use the Internet. For example, research new dental products by using search engines and enter website URLs to locate specific web pages. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, create invoices and enter payments received using financial management software or accounting programs such as Simply Accounting. (2)
  • Use databases. For example, record patient data such as contact information, medical and dental histories and records of treatment using denturist practice management software. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, draft letters to dental and medical professionals and complete insurance form templates using the basic features of word processing programs. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, exchange email with suppliers and colleagues. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, create spreadsheets to record and analyze denturist practice statistics such as number of patients seen, procedures performed, income generated and expenses incurred. (3)
  • Use graphics software. For example, create advertising brochures that include text and photographs using desktop publishing programs. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Interact with employees to discuss patient scheduling and delegate administrative tasks such as completing insurance claim forms. (1)
  • Listen to patients' voicemail or speak with patients about scheduling appointments. Place telephone orders for equipment and supplies. (1)
  • Explain prescriptions for dentures and dental appliances to laboratory staff and check on work in progress. (2)
  • Negotiate with suppliers to establish the terms and conditions of sales agreements, arrange for the repair of malfunctioning equipment and provide compensation for incomplete and incorrect orders or the replacement of defective materials. (2)
  • Exchange ideas about patient treatment plans, procedures and work load distribution with co-workers. For example, discuss options for helping patients deal with uncomfortable dentures. (2)
  • Consult colleagues about unusual situations and conditions. For example, seek advice from oral surgeons and dentists when suspicious lesions are observed in patients' mouths. (2)
  • Discuss treatment and payment options and recommendations with patients. Discuss medical and dental histories, ask relevant questions, explain procedures and explore payment plans. Use terminology that patients can understand and reassure those who are nervous or upset about replacing teeth. Many patients are elderly and may be lonely or hearing impaired, and require more time for oral communication to build rapport and allay patients" fears. (3)
  • Interact with denturists at meetings, workshops and conferences to discuss professional, administrative and regulatory issues. For example, discuss dental implant procedures, changes to provincially regulated denturist fee codes and regulations. (3)
  • Discuss patients' complex treatment needs with dentists and oral surgeons. For example, describe questionable lesions observed during patient assessments and question their suitability for dental implants. Denturists must use specialized dental terminology to clearly communicate patients' needs so that dentists and oral surgeons can make accurate assessments. (3)
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Money Math
  • Receive cash, cheques, debit and credit card payments and make change when receiving payment from patients for denturist services. (1)
  • Prepare patients' invoices by adding the costs of services provided, subtracting discounts and insurance reimbursements. (2)
  • Verify invoice amounts and approve payments for the purchase of denturist supplies such as tooth colour charts and dental bite blocks. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule patients' appointments to allow sufficient time for laboratory work. Rearrange schedules to make accommodations for urgent or unplanned work and unforeseen delays in denture fabrication. (2)
  • Monitor monthly and annual business performance by calculating total sales, receivables and business costs. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Mix compounds such as plaster, wax, rubber, silicone and chemical epoxies to make impression materials and acrylic denture bases. (2)
  • Use rulers, bite blocks, wax impressions, bow articulators and callipers to measure patients' mouths and teeth. For example, use callipers to measure jaw width and rulers to measure denture height. Measure patients' vertical dimensions between the nose and the chin to determine the length of the upper and lower dentures, and tooth placement and the relationships between patients' upper and lower jaws to make functional wax impressions that precisely copy patients' gums and teeth. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare fabricated tooth samples to patients' teeth to identify which are closest in size and shape in order to create natural-looking dentures. (1)
  • Calculate the average number of denturist procedures performed weekly and compare these numbers to targets. Calculate the average time spent performing specific procedures and compare the results to industry norms. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the costs of dentures and dental appliances, taking into account laboratory time required to produce dentures and the number of patient appointments required to achieve proper fitting dentures. (2)
  • Estimate tooth angles and distances between teeth to make dentures appear as natural as possible. (3)
  • Estimate how much gum recession may occur when dentures are being broken in by patients and the degree of adjustment required to achieve patient comfort. Consider patients' conditions and levels of discomfort when making estimates. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Most denturists are independent practitioners who set their own priorities and organize their work schedules according to their needs. They schedule appointments to allow sufficient time for laboratory work to be completed. They often need to adjust work schedules because of appointment cancellations or patients' emergencies. Self-employed denturists plan operations and choose long-term strategies for their businesses. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to reduce fees in special situations. For example, denturists may reduce fees if the proposed procedures are too expensive for patients on social assistance. (2)
  • Make decisions about components of dental prostheses. For example, decide the most appropriate compounds to use when making dental bases and impressions, thickness of dentures and type and colour of artificial teeth to use. Consider cost and quality when selecting dental base compounds, determine the thickness of dentures based on bite measurements and gum ridge size and select teeth which best match patients' natural teeth and colour that match previous dentures, skin complexions and their preferences. (2)
  • Make purchasing decisions. For example, decide which laboratories, products and suppliers to use for denture parts and services, considering quality, price, value and availability. (2)
  • Make hiring decisions. Consider the requirements and applicants' capabilities. For example, denturists hire office assistants considering their bookkeeping, word processing, organizational and interpersonal skills. (2)
  • Decide where to place teeth in patient prostheses. Assess patients' bites and place teeth to create effective dentures. If they are improperly placed or the cusp angles are wrong, the dentures will be uncomfortable and will need to be reworked them. (2)
  • Decide whether to repair or re-make dentures. Consider whether the repairs will shorten the dentures' life span, whether the modifications are safe, and if the materials or processes originally used caused the defects. The final decision depends on the patients' input, the denturists' knowledge, experience and cost. If flaws do not compromise fit and function of dentures, they may recommend patients use the dentures until specific problems can be identified. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Despite reminders, patients have not paid for services. Call collection agencies to recover the amounts owed. (1)
  • Equipment malfunctions or products that do not perform well. For example, denturists are faced with delays caused by equipment breakdowns. They arrange for repairs and explain the situation to patients. If they encounter materials of poor quality, denturists contact suppliers and voice their dissatisfaction. If the situations do not improve, they may seek new suppliers who provide better product lines. (2)
  • Face disruptions to daily schedules due to patients who miss their appointments, emergencies such as broken or cracked dentures and patients who arrive late for treatments. Accommodate emergencies and late appointments by working longer hours, treating two patients concurrently, taking advantage of wait times in patient treatment processes and using "no show" appointment slots. (2)
  • You are confronted by angry or dissatisfied patients. For example, patients do not like the shape, colour, or size of the teeth in prostheses. The situations may be emotional, and denturists must first calm patients before finding solutions. Denturists use tact and diplomacy to remind patients of any previous agreements made about the prostheses, re-work and adjust them or make new ones to satisfy them. (2)
  • Dentures and dental appliances are ill-fitting which patients find uncomfortable or painful. Examine the patients to identify where the dentures irritate the gums and make adjustments to the dentures until the irritation stops. When dentures do not adhere to patients' gums because of insufficient suction, denturists make adjustments to improve suction, recommend adhesives or refer patients to oral surgeons for implants. (2)
  • Manufactured denture products do not meet quality standards. Rework the products or repeat the manufacturing processes. (2)
  • Patients have health or financial problems that limit treatment options. For example, when patients develop complicated health problems, denturists may continue to treat the patients, delay treatment until the problems are resolved, or make referrals to other health care practitioners. If they are unable to pay their bills, denturists may reduce their fees or apply to social assistance agencies for reimbursement. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about dental products and equipment such as denture wax, clear dentures, gold clasps and titanium frames by searching the Internet, contacting suppliers and referring to catalogues. (1)
  • Consult user manuals for guidance on how to operate and troubleshoot equipment such as dental wax curing units, face bow articulators and grinding machines. (2)
  • Search denturist association manuals such as Guide Abrégé prepared by L'Association des Denturologistes du Québec to locate regulatory and administrative policies and fee scales. Determine how best to implement recommended policies and procedures in the practice. (2)
  • Consult colleagues to discuss unusual problems, seek their opinions and obtain information regarding their experiences with similar problems. For example, discuss problems with patients' dental implants, the design and manufacture of denture implements and medical forms required by provincial legislation. (2)
  • Find information about new procedures and treatments by referring to trade magazines such as Denturism Canada. Use new information to improve your practice. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess the fit of clients' new dentures. Consider factors, such as comfort, bite, facial aesthetics and dental noise. Also assess whether patients have legitimate fitting problems or if patients have not allowed enough time for the denture appliances to settle. (3)
  • Assess the quality of dentures that have been fabricated. Check to see that dentures fit patients well, have highly polished finishes and proper extensions and restore patients' abilities to bite and chew. Poor quality dentures cause oral health to suffer and damage denturists' businesses. (3)
  • Assess the quality of prostheses during production. Denturists' creativity and artistry are essential to produce customized prostheses that look healthy, natural and attractive. The size and shape of patients' faces, their complexion, facial contours and features must all be considered, along with the denturists' own aesthetic sense. (3)
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of treatments considering factors such as patients' stated needs, medical and dental histories and economic means. Treatment options range from servicing existing prostheses to designing new dentures or implant-supported prostheses. It is essential that both the patients and denturists agree to and understand the treatment plans and expectations. Such discussions are held repeatedly throughout the course of treatments. (3)
  • Assess patients' oral health by examining patients over a series of visits. Ask questions and use touch and observation to evaluate overall condition of oral tissues. Identify any problems that must be addressed immediately, problems that are likely to require attention in the future and other matters beyond the scope of practice which must be referred to dentists or physicians. (3)
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