About The Orthodontic Technicians Association
The association was formed in 1971 following a meeting between orthodontic dental technicians employed in London teaching hospitals. Since then membership has grown steadily to represent all members of the industry. It is estimated that there are currently between 400 and 500 dental technicians earning their living from orthodontics in the UK.
The aims of the association are to encourage study, promote the highest standards of practice and advance the knowledge of orthodontic laboratory and clinical techniques for the benefit of the orthodontic team and patient.
- Act as an advisory body to institutions and individuals on the use of all orthodontic laboratory techniques and the service orthodontic technicians provide.
- To widen, improve and develop the education and knowledge of those actively engaged in orthodontic technology through the media, publications, lectures, exhibitions, conferences and any other appropriate means.
- Keep a register of members and their qualifications.
- To invite and collect subscriptions and donations to the funds of the Association by any lawful means.
- To co-operate with other organisations with the view to the promotion of the objects of the Association.
Benefits of Membership
The Association holds an annual technical conference at a suitable venue each year. This is well supported by both members and traders and a good opportunity for all those involved to get to know each other. Besides the social aspect of the conference, it is probably the best way of keeping up with the latest techniques and innovations in orthodontic technology as the lead-time on publication of articles can be long. The annual general meeting of the Association is held during the conference.
In addition to our own conference, the Association also takes part in the British Orthodontic Conference each year. Members are invited to put on table and poster demonstrations at these conferences. It is vital that we maintain a presence at this event in order to strengthen our links with our clinical colleagues.
Members of the Council sit on various boards and committees to represent the interests of orthodontic technicians. This is an important function due to the many changes taking place in dental technology at present. Areas under discussion at present include registration, orthodontic auxiliaries and clinical dental technicians.
As a member, you gain recognition of your skills as an Orthodontic Technician. In addition, you also gain representation on the following bodies:
- Central Council for Health Authority Dental Technology
- College and University Education Advisory Boards
- Consultant Orthodontists Group
- The British Orthodontic Society
- The British Orthodontic Conference
The Association produces a quarterly newsletter and members are encouraged to contribute letters and technical tips. The Newsletter reports on meetings attended by Council officers and keeps members up to date on changes in legislation affecting our profession. The Newsletter also provides technical support from the expertise of your fellow members.
Since 1997 Conference we have combined our Conference Programme with Proceedings, which, as well as containing abstracts of the lectures given at the Conference, also contains technical articles so that it can be used as a reference source. Anyone can submit an article for consideration for publication in the Proceedings.
History of The OTA
Thirteen orthodontic technicians attended the meeting and it was agreed that such an association should be formed. From this meeting, a steering committee was organised.
Len Bradshaw became the first chairman and Bert Aldridge the first secretary. Other committee members included P. Chittenden, H. Close, J. Ford, J. Griffin and H. Haringman.
During the first four meetings aims and objectives of the association were decided and in March 1972 a letter and questionnaire were sent to dental schools, hospital orthodontic departments and county council dental laboratories. As an act of confidence each committee member together with E. Cripps, H. Essinger, A. Wing and G. Wisker contributed to a launching fund to cover the costs of stationery, printing and postage.
In July 1972 a letter together with an application form and the comments received from the original replies were sent out inviting orthodontic technicians to apply for membership.
During the meetings that followed, the Constitution was written and the first OTA conference was planned and subsequently held in London during April 1973.
Conferences have regularly been held ever since at venues across the UK and the number of attending delegates has steadily increased over the years, as has the membership of the association.
The link with our clinical colleagues has also been strong since the inception of the association. This is in part maintained by inviting prominent orthodontists to serve as presidents of the association.
The OTA has also been an affiliate organisation of the British Orthodontic Society since it was formed in 1994.
In 1999, the first British Orthodontic Society technicians award was established in collaboration with the Orthodontic Technicians Association. This was first awarded in 2000 and continues to be awarded annually at the OTA conference. In 2003 another award was created, The British Orthodontic Society Award to an Orthodontic Technician for Distinguished Service.
The relationship between the OTA and the BOS was strengthened further in 2010 with a closer affiliation which would see the two organisations sharing membership services and the registered address of 12 Bridewell Place in the City of London.
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Rye Mattick qualified from Leeds in 1988. She later gained her orthodontic qualification from Newcastle and she went on to do her Senior Registrar training in Manchester.
She is now Consultant Orthodontist at Newcastle Dental Hospital where she is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate supervision, teaching and training and holds honorary university status.
She is the Training Programme Director and ran the MSc course for several years as well as supervising PhDs.
She is lead orthodontist for the Northern and Yorkshire Cleft Lip and Palate Service. She is active in research and has been involved in a number of award-winning clinical, randomised controlled trials.
She has published on a variety of topics although mainly in the area of cleft lip and palate. Within BOS she has served on COG Committee, been Director of the British Orthodontic Society Foundation (BOSF), and Chairman of the Scholarships and Grants Committee. She now takes great pleasure in being President of the OTA!
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Andrea Johnson is the orthodontic and maxillofacial laboratory manager at Montagu hospital, Mexborough. She is the current chair of the Orthodontic Technicians Association (OTA) and the chair and founding member of registered charity Den-Tech.
She has served as a council member of the Dental Technologists Association (DTA), an associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, a visiting lecturer at the University of Chester and is now a sessional teacher at Nottingham College.
The winner of a Star award, Pride of Derby and the Aldridge Medal, Andrea has a first class BSc (hons) degree in Dental Technology, she is a keen advocate of lifelong learning, she has written many CPD papers and lectured on a variety of subjects both nationally and internationally on subjects such as appliance construction techniques, dental materials, regulations and infection control etc.
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Jennifer Dunnett runs her own business JD Denta Care in Edinburgh.
She qualified from Edinburgh’s Telford college with an advanced certificate in orthodontics and since qualifying has worked and volunteered in a variety of different commercial laboratories along with working full-time in one of Edinburgh’s leading orthodontic practices.
As an independent commercial technician, she feels she can bring a realistic outlook to the council without prejudice.
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Daniel began his career as an apprentice dental technician in 1996 at Albion Dental Laboratory, Chesterfield. Albion covered all aspects of dental technology and this gave him a broad vision and foundation early in his career.
He finished his basic training at Rotherham General Hospital between 1999 and 2001 and then moved to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
In his first four years at Chesterfield, Daniel completed both the Higher National Certificate and Orthodontic Diploma in Professional Studies. During this time he worked on utilising mid-palatal implants as an alternative to headgear and he enjoyed this immensely, also using it as his dissertation project.
In 2004, Daniel was the proud recipient of the British Orthodontic Society Technicians Award. He then left Chesterfield for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital in 2005 and during this time he completed the Diploma in Maxillofacial Prosthetic s and Reconstructive Science. In 2015 he returned to Chesterfield Royal to manage to Maxillofacial and Orthodontic Laboratory.
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Edward is a lecturer in Dental Technology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He began his career as work experience student at Chanters Dental Laboratory in Ashford, Kent.
Having decided that dental technology was worth a go he studied at Lambeth College in London for four years qualifying with a BTEC in 2004 and PDC in 2005. While studying at Lambeth he undertook work experience at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital which led to a job once he had qualified.
He worked as an orthodontic technician at Canterbury and then at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford when the department relocated in 2011.
In August 2012 he took up another orthodontic post at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford looking for a new challenge.
In January 2015 he took on a completely different role as the senior technician at Cardiff Metropolitan University for eight months before being promoted to a lecturer position.
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James is a maxillofacial and dental laboratory manager for London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the North Thames Cleft Centre, a supra-regional network for patients with clefts of the lip and palate from North London, Essex and South and West Hertfordshire. This service is run jointly by Great Ormond Street and the St Andrew’s Centre for Plastic Surgery at Broomfield Hospital near Chelmsford and he also works there for part of the time.
He trained at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in association with Lambeth College and qualified in 2001. After a vocational training year at the Royal London Hospital, he spent the following two years at the Eastman Dental Hospital, part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, before transferring to Great Ormond Street in 2004.
James has written or co-written papers for journals including The Angle Orthodontist, the British Dental Journal and The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal. He is an invited speaker both nationally and internationally and in the past was a lecturer at Lambeth College in London.
He has been awarded the Quintessence Book Prize for the best student from a London teaching hospital, the British Orthodontic Society Technicians Award and the Fellowship of the Orthodontic Technicians Association.
James was first elected to the Orthodontic Technicians Association Council in 2006 and served on its executive committee as treasurer from 2007 to 2016. James is also the current president of the Dental Technologists Association.
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In 2008 Jinesh attended Manchester Metropolitan University successfully gaining a BA in Forensic Chemistry – a career path he had chosen at a very young age. However, upon completion, he felt a lack the fulfilment that he’d hoped this degree would have given him which led to his next career decision.
In 2011 he took an interest in his father’s trade and found himself spending a lot of time in his dental laboratory. He quickly fell in love with the trade that made a big difference to peoples lives and quickly realised this is what he wanted to do.
He subsequently joined the BTEC National Diploma course at Lambeth college in 2012 studying theory whilst working and having a hands-on approach with the laboratory. He found having both elements together helped accelerate his manual dexterity and knowledge of dental technology quite quickly. After 2 years of hard work he qualified as a dental technician, joined the GDC register and worked at every opportunity to improve his skills, which enabled him to obtain his current role as Operations Director at H M London Orthodontic lab.
He joined the OTA as a member and is keen to lend his support in keeping this historic organisation active for many more years ahead. He strongly believes the future of orthodontic technicians lies within the OTA.
His future plans include strengthening his education, aiming to get a Masters in Dental Technology and ensuring this great organisation maintains a presence with the young so that upcoming technicians that will take over within the next generation.
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After leaving school Grace pursued a career as a Dental Nurse for 13 years. However, she didn’t find this job satisfying or fulfilling.
After carefully considering a career change, she decided to pursue a career in Dental Technology because she had some prior knowledge and enjoyed being hands-on and creative.
In 2012, she enrolled on a BTEC National Diploma in Dental Technology at Birmingham Metropolitan College and didn’t look back, graduating with distinction in 2014. Her eagerness to learn means she has now enrolled in further education again with a view to achieving a BSc (Hons).
Having worked at various commercial laboratories, she now finds herself at Northampton General Hospital working as a Dental Technician and supporting the dental team.
She recently joined the OTA to contribute, enhance and learn from the association. She believes the OTA has an abundance of knowledge which needs to be passed on to the next generation of Orthodontic Technicians.
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Jennifer qualified as a dental technician in 2011 at Edinburgh’s Telford College and subsequently completed her advanced qualification in orthodontics.
She started her career working as an orthodontic/prosthodontic technician for Leca Dental, one of the largest dental labs in the UK. In 2016 she moved to the oral-facial laboratory in Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock where she now works as a specialist orthodontic/prosthodontic technician.
She is currently studying for an MSc in dental technology at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
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Simon has worked for DB Lab Supplies since 2009, during this time he has met some really good people working as orthodontic technicians in both hospitals and private dental laboratories. He has always been enthusiastic about supporting the OTA and believes it’s important to champion the important work orthodontic technicians. He is looking forward to working with the OTA council to help them achieve further success for their members and the orthodontic profession as a whole.