Becoming a Dental Laboratory Technician
Dental Laboratory Technicians work closely with the Dentists to assist them in planning the treatment and placing the restoration or corrective device in the patient’s mouth aftermath dental operation. Restorative Dentistry is followed when patients lose teeth through an accident or disease. Orthodontic treatment is given to prevent painful dysfunction or optimize functioning of the teeth.
Each restoration process is unique and requires more skill and art rather than training. The Dental Laboratory Technician always have a big challenge to capture and recreate the perfection to make the smile look natural. They use advanced materials such as ceramics, plastics and metal alloys during fixed restorations. A detailed understanding of the mouth as well as the dental devices come in handy for the Technicians.
In short, the Dental Laboratory Technicians take orders from Dentists, then design dental replacements like bridges, dentures, crowns and orthopedic appliances.
A High School Diploma is the basic requirement to become a Dental Laboratory Technician. During high school, focus should remain on mathematics, science, information technology and art. An Associate’s Degree is must for Dental Laboratory Technicians. After completing the degree, a certification program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association (CODA), is highly preferable.
During the Associate’s Degree and Certification programs, the students learn safety principles, laboratory equipment operation, denture and bridge construction, plaster use, anatomy, science and math.
Salary & Job Outlook: Job outlook for Dental Laboratory Technicians is not so great. The projected job growth remains at 3% from 2012 till 2022. The annual average salary for these professionals was $39,780 per annum.