Who are Dental surgery technicians?

Dental surgery technicians, also known as dental assistants, are essential members of the dental healthcare team. They work alongside dentists and dental hygienists to provide patient care and ensure that dental procedures run smoothly.

A dental surgery technician’s primary responsibility is to assist the dentist during dental procedures. They prepare the dental operatory for the patient and the specific procedure being performed. This includes setting up the dental tools, equipment, and materials required for the procedure.

During the procedure, the dental surgery technician works alongside the dentist to provide assistance. They hand the dentist the tools they need, provide suction to remove excess saliva and fluids from the patient’s mouth, and ensure that the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure. They may also take x-rays, prepare impressions of teeth, and apply fluoride or sealants to protect the teeth.

In addition to assisting during procedures, dental surgery technicians also provide patient care. They take and record patients’ medical histories, record vital signs, and provide oral hygiene instructions to patients. They may also assist with scheduling appointments, billing, and maintaining patient records.

Dental surgery technicians work in a variety of dental settings, including private dental offices, clinics, and hospitals. They may work full-time or part-time, and their schedules may include evenings and weekends to accommodate patient needs.

Becoming a dental surgery technician typically requires completing a dental assisting program, which can be found at many vocational schools and community colleges. These programs usually take one to two years to complete and may result in a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree. Some states require dental surgery technicians to be licensed or registered, which may require passing a written or practical exam.

The job outlook for dental surgery technicians is positive, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 7% job growth rate from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for dental surgery technicians in May 2020 was $40,080.

Therefore, dental surgery technicians play a critical role in ensuring that dental procedures run smoothly and patients receive high-quality care. Their work is essential to the overall success of the dental healthcare team, and they can enjoy a rewarding career in this field with the proper education and training.

Role of Dental Surgery Technician in the Nigerian Community 

In Nigeria, dental surgery technicians serve as primary oral health care providers. They educate people on how to take care of their mouth and Nutritional counseling. Dental surgery technicians also organize oral health education for people mostly in rural areas. Because  dental cases are very common in rural areas due to their ignorance about oral health and sometimes they cannot afford dental treatment due to their economic status. Furthermore, most Nigerians living in the rural areas are not accessible to dental centers. That’s why Dental surgery technicians are very crucial in the Nigerian community.

Career Opportunities for Dental Surgery Technicians in Nigeria. 

Completing training in the Dental surgery technician profession may originally seem like it leads to just one straightforward job, but there are more lucrative ways that can open the door to various rewarding and long-term careers in the overall field of dentistry. To get started, all you need to do is take the first step and sign up for the Dental surgery technician Profession. You will be surprised by how many amazing opportunities are available.

One of the possible career paths available for dental surgery technicians is obtaining a higher degree such as the HND or BSC in dental nursing after undergoing a conversion program.

Dental Surgery Technician salary in Nigeria

Dental surgery technicians are critical elements for the success of any dental office. Entry Level Dental surgery technicians typically earn N65, 000 to N75, 000 per month. More experienced Dental surgery technicians can earn up to N150,000 to N200,000 per month in Nigerian where some of them serve as civil servants and some are public workers depending on the part among three tiers of the Nigerian health system

Usually, an entry-level dental surgery technician is CONHESS 6 at the secondary level and sometimes CONHESS 7 at the tertiary level. While their terminal level is level CONHESS 13 in public practice it is varied in the private sector.


Dental surgery technicians are important members of the dental team in Nigeria. Dental surgery technicians organize oral health campaigns mostly during world oral health days to achieve maximum oral health awareness in the target population of a particular area. Also, dental surgery technicians organize  oral health education for the students in the schools.  

In urban areas, dental surgery technicians can work in public and private sectors, they are always the first to have contact with patients sympathetically with their good communication skills.