What Does a Dental Technician Do?

If you are interested in the technical aspects of dentistry, a career as a dental technician may be a good option. Read below for more details regarding some of the responsibilities of a dental technician. Schools offering Dental Technician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A dental technician is responsible for creating the many types of dental prosthetics that dentists use in their work. Using specifications that dentists provide them, these technicians produce dental pieces, including crowns and bridges, that address common dental problems. These pieces are generally made from gold or other precious metals. Other materials, such as dental porcelain and acrylics may also be used in the creation of dental appliances. Because most dental technicians work in a laboratory, the position is sometimes referred to as a dental laboratory technician. Dental technicians often specialize in a certain field, allowing them to gain more experience in the creation of a specific type of prosthetic.

Important Facts about Dental Technicians

Required Education High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
Work Environment Laboratory Setting
Key Skills Analysis, Attention to Detail, Organization, Multitasking
Similar Occupations Dentist, Optometrist, Medical Equipment Repairer

Prosthodontic Technician

Prosthodontic technicians are dental technicians who create prosthetic devices such as dentures. These prosthetic devices help correct problems with missing or deficient teeth.

Conservation Technician

A conservation technician specializes in the creation of bridges and crowns. Prosthetic devices created by this type of dental technician work to restore tooth crowns or roots that have begun to decay as a result of cavities. Conservation technicians may also be responsible for creating gold inlays and other types of fillings.

Orthodontic Technician

An orthodontic technician specializes in creating the many types of braces that help improve the positioning of teeth. This type of dental technician is generally involved in the formation of orthodontic pieces such as dental braces and retainers. They may also create headgear, which is used to correct more serious bite issues.

Maxillofacial Technician

This type of dental technician usually works in a hospital and is involved in creating pieces to correct injuries or defects to the mouth and jaw, often the result of traumatic injury. Such technicians usually work closely with the surgeons that will be installing the corrective pieces.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by dental laboratory technicians was $40,440 in May 2018. The employment of such technicians is expected to grow by about 14% between 2016 and 2026, per the BLS.

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