About The Orthodontic Technicians Association
- 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.
The OTA Council
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Bill qualified in Liverpool and worked in general practice before moving into the hospital service. After posts in Merseyside and the West Midlands, he ended up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he has been a Consultant at the Dental Hospital for over a decade.
He has been involved with the training of dental students, postgraduate specialists, orthodontic therapists, laboratory technicians and has been the programme director for the orthodontic nursing course. In 2018 he was awarded Membership of the Faculty of Dental Trainers. He is an examiner for Newcastle University and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
Bill has also served on committees to promote the profession with roles including the Vice-chair of the BDA Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services, Chair of the Northern BDA Hospital Group, South Birmingham BDA Branch Chairman, Chair of the Training Grades Group of the BOS, Treasurer of the BOS University Teachers Group and now, for the OTA.
Realising that his life revolved too much around work, Bill recently decided to go part-time. And ended up with more work in specialist practice! Fortunately, he still has time to enjoy Argentine Tango and to prepare for the yearly Great North Run.
OTA Chair and publicity coordinator
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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.
Membership sectary, Social Media coordinator and BSI liaison.
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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.
Vice Chair and Treasurer
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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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James is a maxillofacial and dental laboratory manager at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust and the North Thames Cleft Centre, a supra-regional service for patients based in north London, Essex and south and west Hertfordshire.
He trained as a dental technician at Barts and the London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in association with Lambeth College and qualified in 2001. Following 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 joining Great Ormond Street in 2004.
James has written or co-written articles for journals including the Annals of Plastic Surgery, the Angle Orthodontist, the British Dental Journal and the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal and is an invited speaker both nationally and internationally. He was also a lecturer at Lambeth College, where he taught the orthodontic units for the Higher National Certificate (HNC) Dental Technology course.
James has been a member of the OTA council since 2006, where he served as treasurer between 2007 and 2016. Last year he returned to the executive committee when he was elected secretary.
Website Lead, Awards Coordinator and Education Coordinator.
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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.
Newletter Editor and Minutes Sectary
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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.
Newsletter Editor and Commercial Laboratory Engagement
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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.
Council MemberJennifer 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.
Lucia Amato obtained a Diploma in Dental Technology in Italy and completed her Master’s Degree of Science in Dental technology from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2016. She started her career in Italy in 1991 where she owned her own Orthodontic Laboratory. Since then Lucia has been working in the orthodontic field for more than thirty years, gaining extensive experience regarding orthodontic devices. Lucia moved to England in 2006, this was a challenging decision in her life that contributed to enhancing her career and since then she has worked as an orthodontic technician for different NHS Hospitals for the past 11 years.
Kerry Lancaster has been a member of the OTA for many years and served in various roles on the committee including secretary and newsletter editor. Kerry trained at Brooklands College in Surrey and qualified as an Orthodontic Technician in 1991. She has worked in both commercial laboratories and the NHS sectors. She has taught part-time at Lambeth college and is currently working as an Instructor at the Eastman Dental Institute, UCL in London.