In today’s uncertain economic environment, finding a secure, well paying job is a priority. Fortunately, becoming a dental technician can provide both high pay and a rewarding, long-term career.
A dental technician assists the dentist in providing care to dental patients, most specifically in preparing dental appliances. These include dentures, crowns, bridges, and the various forms of orthodontics appliances, more commonly known as braces. The dental lab technician is involved in the following duties:
• A technician must be proficient at taking and recording the measurements provided by the dentist.
• Carrying out the initial evaluation of what form of dental item is needed, under the supervision of his or her dentist.
• Selecting the materials to be used. Some dental appliances may require gold or amalgamate, while others can be formed out of ceramics or other materials.
• The technician must ensure that the complete item fits the patient’s needs.
• The dental technician must effectively communicate information to patients, fellow technicians, and any supervising dentists.
These duties also include the requirement that dental appliances be both attractive and functional. In today’s world, the unsightly appliances of the past are not tolerated, and so a dental technician must also keep the patients appearance in mind. Additionally, these appliances have to be made in such a way that they do not interfere with the patient’s ability to chew food or speak, and that may influence the choice of material or design.
A dental technician must be certified by an accredited school or training program. In most cases, this requires a two-year program at a community college or vocational school, although some dental lab technicians graduate from a four-year program with a BA in dental technology.
These programs cover all the requirements of working as a dental lab technician, including how to effectively prepare, design and make dental appliances, as well as the training to work along side dentists and other technicians in an office or other health care facility.
Currently dental technician jobs are on the rise. The rising number of elderly in the United States, along with the demand for attractive and functional dental appliances for individuals of all ages, has resulted in a growing demand for skilled lab technicians. As the population continues to age, this demand will only increase, especially in sub-fields that focus on providing dental appliances to the elderly.
For these reasons, the dental lab technician is an extremely attractive job for those seeking a long term and highly paid profession.