Dental Laboratory Technicians make dental prostheses — replacements for natural teeth, including dentures and crowns. The hallmarks of the qualified Dental Laboratory Technician are skill in using small hand instruments, accuracy, artistic ability, and attention to detail to create practical and asthetically pleasing replacements. Dental Laboratory Technicians rarely interact with patients directly. Rather, they work with the dentist’s detailed instructions to create the dental prostheses. The majority of Dental Laboratory Technicians work in a commercial dental laboratory though some are employed through hospitals, military institutions and schools.
Most dental laboratory technicians receive their education and training through a 2-year program at a community college, vocational school, technical college, or dental school, for which they may receive a certificate or an associate degree. Dental laboratory technicians can become certified by passing an examination, administered by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology. Passing this examination qualifies a dental technician to use the designation Certified Dental Technician (CDT). Dental technicians are eligible to take the examination if they have completed a dental laboratory technology program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and have 2 years of professional experience or have completed 5 years of work experience as dental technicians and passed a comprehensive examination.