Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Academic boost: Clinical dental technician will now be a professional Bachelor's degree programme

The clinical dental technician degree programme now transitions from being an academy profession degree programme to a professional Bachelor's degree programme. The final approval of the new education came shortly before the turn of the year, which was a feather in the cap of the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, who are behind the major reorganisation process.

2021.01.14 | Simon Byrial Fischel

From the autumn semester 2022, the first clinical dental technician students will begin on the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health’s professional Bachelor’s degree programme. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Photo.

There has long been a desire on the part of both employers and professionals in the field to see the clinical dental technician degree programme given an academic boost. Clinical dental technicians are facing increasing demands in their field, which is characterised by complex patient groups, rapid technological development and an increased focus on patient safety.

The project group from DENT has therefore spent time working on reorganising the two-year academy profession degree programme as a three-and-a-half year professional Bachelor's degree programme. In December 2020, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science approved the new degree programme, and the department will begin to admit students to the professional bachelor's degree programme from the 2022 autumn semester.

More than just dentures

Working as a clinical dental technician requires more than craftsmanship. The majority of patients are elderly people who, in addition to needing dentures, often also have other health challenges.

"In addition to the practical and technical work of manufacturing removable dentures, a clinical dental technician must also take into account a wide range of complex issues. With patients who are only partially toothless in particular, the clinical dental technician has to work closely with dentists on treatment. It’s therefore important to provide students with a solid theoretical foundation that will enable them to understand and take into account the health and disease patterns of the patient group, and to be better equipped to work with dentists and other healthcare professionals on treatments," says Dentist and Programme Coordinator Helle Hornhaver, who is a member of the project group responsible for the preparation of the new professional Bachelor's degree programme.

She emphasises that a clinical dental technician is an authorised healthcare professional and is therefore subject to special legislation in a number of areas. "The clinical dental technicians are the manufacturers of medical equipment according to measurements, and are therefore subject to a number of statutory requirements, such as e.g. the documentation of materials and treatment, which they must also be thoroughly prepared for during their education. Their function will not change, even though the programme does. It’s simply a matter of upgrading," she explains.

Part of a larger plan

When the new professional Bachelor's degree is offered in the autumn of 2022, the department will simultaneously introduce revised academic regulations for the dental and dental hygienist degree programmes. The reorganisation is another element in the department's 'Aarhus Model of Dental Education' which, among other things, has the objective of integrating the dental degree programmes to a much greater extent than today and also utilising joint teaching designed to train students to work across professional groups while they are still studying.

"We're actually quite proud of getting approval and we're very much looking forward to being able to welcome the first students to the new degree programme. Being able to give the education a boost is fantastic, especially as the wish to do this has come from the professionals in the field themselves," concludes Helle Hornhaver. The other members of the project group behind the new professional Bachelor's degree are Degree Programme Director Ulla Lindtoft and Educational Consultant Eline Skjøttgaard Lorentzen.


Dentist, continuing and further education coordinator Helle Hornhaver
Aarhus University, Department of Dentistry and Oral Health
Email: hornhaver@dent.au.dk
Mobil: (+45) 2899 2279

Education, Administration (Academic), Public/Media, Health, Health, Technical / administrative staff, IOOS, Academic staff, IOOS EVU