DENTAL technicians, or as they were earlier known, dental mechanics, have a long history in the wider domain of dentistry.
According to the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association, Australia was the first country in the world to enable them to work directly with the public. This was passed by legislation in Tasmania in 1957. The profession has continued to come a long way in Australia since those days.
The Silkstone Denture Clinic, owned by David Banfield, a dental prosthetist, is a great example of what is now offered to the public through his clinic.
"I started the Silkstone Denture Clinic about five-and-half years ago, When I bought the practice it was a going concern. I wanted to bring some fresh ideas, install the latest in technology," Mr Banfield said.
"We have the mandatory training requirements as a member of the ADPA. It means we are up to date with techniques and technology used in our profession."
Like many products and services offered in Australia, the denture business is not exempt from imports. While Mr Banfield says his practice will not provide always the cheapest product, what he can assure clients is that "they will not fall apart".
There is a global trend to bring in product from China. In fact all of the dentures are made on site and this means that it continues to keep the skills and manufacturing in Queensland and even closer to home, Ipswich. All products are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association.
"I get a number of people who come in for a partial denture and my aim is to restore people's confidence, they have the ability to smile again and that they are well fitting. This is so important to the individual," he said.
Full and partial dentures are in high demand today. There is a range of reasons people require dentures, from old age, medical conditions to sport injuries and car accidents.
Silkstone Denture Clinic provides a range of services including full and partial dentures, implant-retained dentures, and mouth guards.
"When a person elects to have the implant, which does provide for a better bite, we are allowed to work with the dentist," he said.
Mr Banfield owns and operates two practices, one in Brisbane, and the other at shop 4/122 Blackstone Rd, Silkstone. Mr Banfield has several dental technicians who work under his direction.
They offer same-day repairs, health fund claims, BPS system dentures and veterans affairs claims. He is currently developing a website and will have hi-caps in the practice.
Anyone can go to the clinic without a referral. Silkstone Denture Clinic is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm, telephone 3281 1146 for more information.