The international tendencies are that Dental curricula have slowly but unavoidably contained a de-emphasis on the technical component in favour of the biological basis of Dentistry and there is no doubt that dental trainees are qualifying with fewer technical skills than was the case in the past and in fact, are needed to meet the routine requirements of denture provision. A course devoted to specializing in denture prosthodontics must lead to a superior clinician in the Denturist than in the Dentist.

As “Doctors of the mouth”, Dentists care for and conserve natural teeth, and to prevent, diagnose and treat oral diseases and its consequences. Clinical Dental Technologists (Denturists), on the other hand, have an explicitly defined role in terms of construction, fitting, patient aftercare and care of artificial teeth (dentures), after patients have already lost their natural teeth. They are denture-dedicated Prosthetists, who specialize solely in removable oral appliances and do not perform invasive procedures, or modification of live tissue.

Dental Technicians are retrained (specialized) and re-registered before they are deployed as Denturists (CDTs). This training is cost-effective in terms of public or private training costs, and provides the community with an alternative, highly specialized and better-affordable service. The infrastructure for the clinical training for Dental Technicians to become Denturists is currently available and with very little capital investment the Universities of Technology are ready and willing to commence with training. Of all the bridging courses to upgrade Oral Health Professionals in South Africa up the rungs of the ladder, this one would be the shortest, the most cost-effective in terms of Oral Health Human Resource training expenditure and the most logical in terms of career-path development. The most efficient and economical provision of removable prosthetics globally is by Denturists, who see more denture patients on a daily basis, than what average Dentists do in a week.