Dental Laboratory Technician

What does a Dental Laboratory Technician do?

Dental laboratory technicians make and repair dental appliances, such as dentures, crowns and braces. They usually work in dental offices and commercial laboratories.

What might a Dental Laboratory Technician do in a workday?

Dental laboratory technicians:

  • provide essential support service for the dental profession according to the dentist’s prescription or work request.
  • fabricate dental models from dentist’s impressions in order to make repairs and fabricate crowns, bridges, partial and complete dentures and orthodontic appliances based on the dentist’s prescription.
  • cast various dental alloys for fabrication of crowns, bridges and removable partial dentures.
  • select and arrange artificial teeth using color charts and tooth illustrations for fabrication of complete and partial dentures.
  • build, contour and fire dental porcelain in special vacuum porcelain ovens.
  • polish alloys, acrylic and porcelain surfaces to clinical acceptability.
  • bend and solder stainless steel wire to fabricate orthodontic retainers and various other orthodontic appliances.

Developing a Career as a Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental laboratory technicians can specialize in various aspects of the work prescribed by dentists and orthodontists: crown and bridge technicians, denture technicians, partial denture technicians, ceramic technicians and orthodontic technicians. Most dental laboratory technicians work in commercial dental laboratories. Employment opportunities also are available in private dental offices, dental schools, hospitals and companies that manufacture dental prosthetic materials.

How much salary do Dental Laboratory Technicians make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Dental Laboratory Technician?

Students wishing to pursue a career as a dental laboratory technician should take challenging high school courses in science, math and English. Most dental laboratory technicians receive their education and training through a two-year program at a community college, vocational school, technical college or dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduates of these programs usually receive associate degrees. In most cases, an individual needs a high school diploma to apply to an accredited program. Dental laboratory technicians are certified by passing an examination that evaluates their technical skills and knowledge.

Some people become dental laboratory technicians through a five-year apprenticeship program, with most of the training acquired on the job.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Dental Laboratory Technician?

National Association of Dental Laboratories
325 John Knox Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(800) 950-1150
(850) 205-5626

National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology
325 John Knox Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(800) 684-5310

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