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Studies & Degrees in Dental Lab Technology

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Dental lab technicians are the often unseen geniuses of the dental industry. They seldom interact with patients directly, but rather follow the instructions of dentists and orthodontists in order to create custom supplies for patients. For example, when the dentist takes a mold of a patient’s mouth in order to get a fitted set of dentures, it is a dental lab technician who takes the mold and crafts those dentures for the patient. Dental lab technicians create a variety of dental products in this way, including retainers, bridges, caps, veneers, and splints, all of which help patients keep their teeth healthy, straight, and beautiful.
Personal Qualities
  • Combination of scientific and artistic mindset (both analytical and creative)
  • Patience and attention to detail
  • Passion for helping others and keeping them healthy
  • Reliability and conscientious adherence to instructions and timetables

Study Options
Dental lab technology programs are all fairly similar, since the requirements for getting a job in the industry are fairly strict. All of them will require some combination of classes in dental anatomy and the practical skills for creating prosthetics. Your coursework as a student of dental lab technology will include such courses as medical ceramics, dental terminology, and hazard control. These courses enable students to understand not only how to do their work, but how to do it safely, quickly, and effectively.
Career Options
The dental care industry is a thriving one at the moment, and job opportunities are sure to stay strong in the future. Because people care about their health, and especially the health of their teeth and gums, the demand for dental lab technicians is fairly recession-proof. While the job of a dental lab technician is usually less lucrative than that of a licensed dentist, it also requires considerably less school. For those who cannot afford the investment of time and money to complete dental training, a dental lab technology major is a superb option.
Dental lab technicians typically assist licensed dentists, and can work in a variety of settings. These include hospital dental labs, dental research labs, and private dentist’s offices. Regardless of where they work, dental lab technicians take an enormous amount of pride in their work and the responsibility that it entails. They products that they create are critical to patients’ health and sense of wellbeing, and so professional dental lab technicians are meticulous about creating the most attractive and functional hardware that they can.