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Dental Technician Career Spotlight on Ceramist, Bogdan Petre

Dental Technician Career Spotlight on Ceramist, Bogdan Petre

A Brief Background ..

I’ve started studying dental technology pretty late, I think I was 29, 13 years ago. Happened in Romania, my native country, where I worked 4 years after I graduated, and then decided to change my life completely and came to London. I’ve spent enough time in each stage of the analog and digital workflow to realise that ceramic is what I want to do. There is something creative in me, and needs ways of expression. I’ve focused on ceramic work for the last 3 years, but I really pushed myself, and I am still doing it, it’s just the beginning for me.

1.What attracted you to the field of dental technology?

I don't believe there was something in particular, but everything felt very serious and complex, and this energy followed me until I decided to give it a go. I started studying when I was almost 30 years old, and I don't think I could have done it if I had begun 10 years earlier. My personality and energy wouldn't have been suited for this field of work back then.

2. What company are you with now?

The first years in London I worked as self-employed for a laboratory whose clients were mostly NHS dentists. Things changed radically once with the pandemic, it was the moment when I made the leap from NHS to private. Now I'm a ceramist at QLab in West London, an almost 100% digitised laboratory, and it's the best place I could be. The working conditions are exceptional, the quality of the work is exceptional, our clients are elite, everything is superlative.

3. What is your (preferred) job title?

I have spent enough time in every stage of the analog work flow. During my Uni years I cast models in an analog laboratory, only after 2 years I started waxing and some metal work. I also spent some time in front of a computer for digital design, and since I joined the QLab family I am only at the ceramic bench, mostly build-up, but also stain&glaze when needed.

I have no preferences when it comes to job titles, dental technician seems the most accurate.

4. What is a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-worklife for you? 

I have my own rhythm, a little different from that of my colleagues. I start very early, around 5 AM I’m in the lab. Of course, I will start the day with the most interesting, challenging or urgent case, but usually I work on multiple cases at the same time, I don't really have idle time. After lunch I start preparing the cases for the next day. I'm very lucky when it comes to time management, I can easily divide the day into two distinct parts, in the lab until the afternoon and then family time for the rest of the day.

5. How did you get your current job?

It was a long and frustrating process. In the first year of the pandemic, with all the lockdowns, a large part of the industry suffered, especially the labs that had their clients comming from the NHS. I used to work for such a lab. It was the moment when I had to make a decision about my professional and personal future. It was not easy, I was not prepared and failed in the first attempts, but  continued to search, especially on recruitment sites. Fortunately for me, in the same  time QLab was preparing to launch, and they were looking for technicians. After a decent bench test, I got the job.

6. What skills came easily to you, and what skills took longer to learn?

I am definitely not one of the most technical of technicians, achieving a high aesthetic result would be my main objective, so I would say that ceramic layering is my favourite part. I don’t consider myself an old fashioned technician, but I still believe that layering ceramic, especially anteriors, is the right way if you need to achieve natural results. 

7. What are hoping to achieve in the next five years?

I don’t spend much time planning my professional future, most of the planning is for short term, like courses to attend to, learning new technics. However, I am trying to improve with every case I work on, keep spiralling upwards I would say.

8. What advice do you have for others wanting to be successful and fulfilled in their dental technology careers?

Gather knowledge. Courses, especially hands-on, read the literature in the field, articles and books, search on the Internet, you will find almost anything you want to know. Follow the results of top technicians, cases, photos, discussions. At least that's how it works for me. Indeed, there are very talented technicians who do not need much effort to obtain extraordinary results, more power to them, but for the rest of us, I think that continuous search and practice are absolutely necessary.

9. If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheque, what would it be?

Interesting question, makes me smile. No matter how passionate I am for this job, I'm not a hypocrite, I wouldn't do it for free. And to give an answer anyway, if I didn't receive money for my work, I would probably accept another form of payment, but which carry value, I think gold would be a suitable alternative.

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Blog post by Andy Foster - dental technician//recruitment blogger//caffeine addict