Dental Laboratory Technician
Dental laboratory workers make artificial pieces for the mouth, such as dentures. These pieces include bridges, crowns and other devices that some people need. Dental laboratory workers will get a mold, or impression, of a person's mouth with a prescription from a dentist. There are a number of steps to make a final device. There is carving and color matching involved so that a person's teeth and mouth look good.
Dental laboratory workers usually work standard forty-hour weeks.
The general salary range for dental laboratory technicians is between $19,000 and $35,000 per year.
Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study
Good manual dexterity, good vision, and the ability to recognize very fine color shadings are helpful skills. People who have an artistic ability and can do detailed precise work also have an advantage. Classes to take are art, metal, wood shop, drafting and science.
Orthotic technicians (braces and surgical supports), prosthetics technicians (artificial limbs and appliances), opticians and ophthalmic laboratory technicians.
Education & Training
Most technicians learn their craft on-the-job. It takes three to four years to become fully trained. There are some programs through community colleges and vocational-technical institutes.
Even with slow growth in this field, there should be good opportunities for this occupation.
Sources for Additional Information
Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Dental Association
211 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
National Association of Dental Laboratories
8201 Greensboro Dr., Suite 300
McLean, VA 22101