Dental Technician Jobs

There are some careers that simply won’t go away, no matter how much time has passed. A dental lab technician is one of these positions. Dental technicians play an important role in oral hygiene, and it’s a wonderful career for someone who enjoys working behind the scenes to help patients achieve and maintain oral health.

Dental Technician Job Description

Many people don’t fully understand what goes into being a dental lab technician. The following descriptions of some of a dental technician’s responsibilities, tasks, and duties should help you get a clearer picture:

  • Constructing a variety of appliances such as dentures, crowns, bridges, etc.
  • Following detailed instructions to perform duties
  • Fill prescriptions from dentists
  • Repair dentures and other devices

There is a growing desire for dental lab technicians who are able to construct prosthesis that are metal-free. This requires skills akin to that of a carver, and a familiarity with tools such as drills, high heat furnaces, and drills in order to create the prosthesis.

How Can I Become a Dental Technician?

In the majority of situations, a person only needs a high school diploma in order to become a dental technician. After you graduate from high school, you could go on to work under the supervision of experienced technicians in order to get the experience and training you would need to be successful in the role. These type of apprenticeship programs are very popular.

However, since the job market is increasingly competitive, it is extremely helpful for a person to take formal training courses. Someone with formal training and education will undoubtedly have a better chance of landing a job as a dental laboratory technician than a candidate who has had no training at all. In order to become a certified dental technician, a person would need to pass an examination put forth by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology. After passing this examination, you would then become a Certified Dental Technician.

How Much Do Dental Technicians Make?

Unfortunately, there is no fixed salary for dental technicians. What you could earn as a dental lab technician depends greatly upon your training or lack thereof as well as your experience. However, the median hourly wage for dental technicians is around $15.

A Day in the Life of a Dental Technician

During a typical day in the life of a dental technician, the following may happen:

  • Pour plaster into a mold made by a dentist in order to create a model of a patient’s mouth.
  • Examine the model and make notes about peculiarities.
  • Build a wax model of the patient’s teeth. This wax model is then used to cast a metal framework for the prosthetic device.
  • Prepare the metal framework to adhere to the porcelain device.
  • Form the porcelain “teeth”.
  • Work to adjust the shape and color of the teeth in order to make it as realistic-looking as possible.

This is just one of the types of tasks that you would have to perform during a typical day as a dental technician.

So if you enjoy working in the health/dental industry, enjoy working with your hands, and want to have a secure career that will always be in demand, consider looking into becoming a dental laboratory technician.

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