Dental Laboratory Technician Careers
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What a Dental Laboratory Technician does:
A Dental Laboratory Technician or Dental Technician manufactures crowns, bridges, dentures and other dental prosthetics for a Dentist.
Typically the Dental Lab Technician receives a digital image or mould of the patient’s mouth, and bases the fixture on this impression. Dental Lab Technicians can work for Restorative dentists where they are responsible for manufacturing teeth replacements.
They can also work for Orthodontic dentists where they manufacture retainers and braces to move teeth. Sometimes the job title reflects their area of specialization e.g. technicians who make porcelain and acrylic restorations are sometimes called dental ceramists. Dental Lab Technicians can work in commercial dental Laboratories, or in a dentist’s private practice.
The main duties of a Dental Lab Technician include:
- Creating a model of the patient’s mouth by pouring plaster into the impression
- Examining the size and shape of the model
- Recreating the patient’s teeth to look natural (size, shape and color)
- Using ceramics, plastics and metal alloys for fixed restorations (crowns and bridges)
- Determining the best materials to use against the natural movement of the teeth (retainers and braces)
Education & Qualifications:
To become a fully qualified dental technician takes approximately 3 to 4 years in college. Previously many Technicians received on the job training, but today most employers look for some form of formal qualifications.
Programs are available through Vocational, Technical, Community and Junior colleges. Upon completion of training, dental lab technicians may become certified by taking and passing the Certified Dental Technician exam, offered by the National Association of Dental Laboratories.
Salary & Job Prospects:
Dental Laboratory Technicians can earn salaries between $25,000 and $40,000. Salaries are dependant on the Dental Technicians responsibilities, experience and location of the work. Employment in this field is favorable. Even though positions are not expected to grow, job opportunities are expected to arise from technicians who transfer, get promoted to other areas or retire.
Find an Allied Health School near you:
Use the Further Your Career zip code search box to find schools and colleges in your area that offer alliedhealth / medical technology programs.
Below is a list of some of the various types of allied health careers / professions: