Dental technicians help dentists by filing prescriptions for dentures, bridges, crowns, veneers and other prosthetics. The dentist sends the technician the details of the prosthetic that has to be made and an impression of the patient’s mouth or teeth. Then, the dental technician makes a plaster model of the patient’s mouth. They study the model, then slowly and painstakingly create the prosthetic. In some dental labs, the dental technician performs all the work of making the prosthetic, while in others they’re responsible for only a few of the stages. A dental technician can specialize in one of five areas. They can be a specialist in orthodontic appliances, partial or complete dentures, ceramics, or crowns and bridges.
As can be seen, the job of dental technician requires a great deal of skill, accuracy and no little amount of artistry. A fully trained dental technician studies for three to four years and may need even more years of training and study to become very highly skilled.
More and more colleges are offering courses that help train students to be dental lab technicians. These schools offer Associate’s degrees or certificates in the sciences and medical technology.
Miami Dade College
This is a state college in Florida. There are eight campuses with the main campus, Wolfson, located in downtown Miami. The school offers Associate’s degrees in science, applied science and an advanced technical certificate for students who’ve already earned an Associate’s degree in Science.
This college, also in Florida, can prepare a student for a career as a dental technician by offering Associate in Applied Science degrees, Associate in Science degrees and Advanced technical certifications.
Salt Lake Community College
This Utah college has a School of Applied Technology, which includes courses in health care technology.
St. Petersburg College
This Florida college offers an Associate in Science degree in medical laboratory technology. The schedule is flexible.
El Paso Community College
This Texas school has five campuses in and around El Paso. They offer Associate’s degrees in health occupation and science.
George Washington University
This Washington, D.C. college has a renown School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
San Jacinto Community College
This college is near Houston, Texas and offers degrees and certificates and a course in medical laboratory technology. This is a 23 month program that culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree that will allow the student to go on to take national certification exams.
Central Texas College
This college in Killeen, Texas offers courses in medical lab technology and sciences. The student can also attend classes online. Central Texas also has courses in continuing education.