Dental Lab Technician Courses and Training Programs

Dental lab technicians design and create dental prostheses. Training programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels, and some on-the-job training may also be offered. Find out what skills you'd learn in a dental lab technology program. Get more info on the job duties of dental lab technicians. Schools offering Dental Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Dental lab technicians work in a laboratory or office setting to create and repair dental implants that improve patients' quality of life. As a dental lab technician, you will use the latest techniques to create, fix or even repair dental prostheses. Training programs for these professionals are typically available at the certificate and associate's degree levels.

Career Design prostheses from written instructions and models
Training On-the-job training; certificate/associate's degree in dental laboratory technology preferred; bachelor's degrees are rare
Courses Examples of courses include; Ceramics, orthodontics, fixed bridgework, and laboratory management

What Training Do Dental Lab Technicians Have?

While on-the-job training may be required to work as a dental laboratory technician, most employers prefer to hire technicians who have been trained in an accredited program at a college or university. Dental laboratory technology programs offer you a chance to earn a certificate or associate's degree in the field; however, a few four-year programs are offered at the bachelor's degree level as well. Upon completion of a dental laboratory technology program, you will qualify for certification from the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology.

What Degree Programs Are Available?

In addition to certificates and training programs in dental lab technician studies, you can enter into a two-year degree program. These degrees are widely available and might exist as an Associate of Science in Dental Laboratory Technology program. Although rare, you may also find a Bachelor of Science in Dental Laboratory Technology as a four-year degree.

What Courses Will I Take?

Dental laboratory technology programs combine classroom learning with laboratory and professional experience. The curriculum in the program teaches you about assembly techniques and basic industry knowledge. Opportunities are also available to work in a laboratory under the direct supervision of a dental laboratory technician. Along the way, you will likely take courses in:

  • Occlusion
  • Ceramics
  • Dental materials
  • Denture techniques
  • Orthodontics
  • Laboratory management
  • Fixed bridgework
  • Dental anatomy
  • Ceramic technology
  • Wax materials
  • Metals
  • Acrylic resins
  • Porcelains

What Would a Career as a Dental Lab Technician Be Like?

Dental lab technicians design and produce dental prostheses. As a dental lab technician, you work in a dental laboratory under the supervision of a dentist, following detailed written instructions to create crowns, bridges, dentures, veneers or orthodontic appliances.

While your work varies between dental laboratories, you will often use an impression of patients' teeth to create a model of the mouth. Based on this model and observations of the patient's dental anatomy, you will construct a wax tooth model using small hand instruments and equipment. The model mimics the size and color of the original tooth or teeth.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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