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There are four major disciplines within dental technology. These are fixed prosthesis including crowns, bridges and implants; removable prosthesis, including dentures and removable partial dentures; maxillofacial prosthesis, including ocular prosthesis and craniofacial prosthesis; and orthodontics and auxiliaries, including orthodontic appliances and mouthguards.
The dentist communicates with the dental technician with prescriptions, drawings, and measurements taken from the patient. The most important aspect of this is a dental impression into which the technician flows a gypsum dental stone to create a replica of the patient's anatomy known as a dental cast. A technician can then use this cast for the construction of custom appliances.