Dental Laboratory Technicians are a “behind the scenes” part of nearly every dental office. Whether it’s a private practice, hospital or clinic, chances are, they are making use of Dental Laboratory Technicians to fill their work orders. This makes them one of the most needed services of the dental field!
What do Dental Laboratory Technicians do exactly? Well, for one thing, they don’t see any patients. Matter of fact, they usually don’t see much of anyone outside their manufacturing laboratory. They have a wide array of abilities that extend to things such as polishing and cleaning prosthesis, but they typically repair and construct as per needed by the dentist. Typically, a new patient needs sees the dentist who then performs work as needed. If the patient needs to have something completed, such as braces, certain crowns, or other restorations, the dentist will make a mold or cast, and have it manufactured by a Dental Laboratory Technician. The patient is then rescheduled at a later date so the piece can be properly fitted after it’s completion. There are VERY few dental offices that make their prosthesis onsite. This goes to show how needed Dental Laboratory Technicians are.
How much do Dental Laboratory Technicians make? Well, depending on what lab you are working for, your salary can vary. The average salary reported was $34,000 in 2008 but salaries extend well beyond $64,000.
How to become a Dental Laboratory Technicians? Many Dental Laboratory Technicians are on the job trained because there are no formal education or training requirements established. The best start to entering this career would be to get your high school diploma or GED and perhaps take classes in wood shop, art, computers, and drafting. Most are hired initially as helpers and then proceed into the position after gaining experience.
Over all, Dental Laboratory Technicians are kind of the engineers of the dental field. For this reason, it would be idea for you to be a very hands on constructive type of person. If you like drawing, or building things this might be a good fit career for you.