Dental Laboratory Technician

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Dental laboratory technicians typically do the following:

  • Follow detailed work orders and prescriptions from a dentist, to create a dental appliance
  • Mix plaster and other pastes to fill molds from impressions taken by a dentist
  • Cover molds and frameworks with mixtures and allow them to set
  • Place the dental appliance on an apparatus that mimics the patient’s bite and jaw movement
  • Examine the appliance, noting the size and shape of adjacent teeth and gaps in the gumline
  • Sculpt or carve parts of an appliance, such as individual teeth
  • Adjust prosthetics to allow for a more natural look or to improve function
  • Repair dental appliances that may be cracked or damaged, such as dentures and crowns

Dental laboratory technicians work with small handtools, such as files and polishers. They work with many different materials to make prosthetic appliances, including wax, plastic, and porcelain. In some cases, technicians work with computer programs to create appliances or to get impressions sent from a dentist’s office.

In small laboratories, technicians do all stages of the work. In large laboratories, technicians may work on only one step of the process, such as waxing or polishing appliances.

Dental laboratory technicians can specialize in one of six areas: orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, implants, and ceramics. Technicians may have different job titles, depending on their specialty. For example, technicians who make porcelain and acrylic restorations, such as veneers and bridges, are called dental ceramists.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data applies to the entire United States, not just New Hampshire.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
331
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
374
Jobs Percentage Change: 
13.0%
Total Annual Openings: 
107
Education Requirements: 
Programs: 

Education Levels:

This job requires a minimum of a GED or a High School Diploma and on-the-job training. Please consult your Case Manager for specific details about this opportunities.
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Optional
Coding License Required: 
No
Certification(s) Required: 
No
Major Optional Certifications: 
Certified Dental Technician with Certificates of Competency in skill areas available
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Direct Patient Interaction