Dental Lab Technician
What Every Dental Lab Professional Needs
A dental lab technician is a dental professional who’s in charge of creating the prosthetics and other dental materials used by dentists for dental treatments. Some of their responsibilities are dentures, crowns, bridges, artificial teeth for implants, and so on. They create these things based on the impressions and mold given by dentists, along with dentist instructions.
Obviously, the role of the dental technician is a major one, one that makes several of the most important and most urgent dental procedures possible. There is always the need for as many dental technicians as possible, so it’s a great idea for a career. Find out if you’ve got what it takes.
What A Dental Lab Technician Should Be
1. Dexterity and Skill of Hand
It is important for a dental lab technician to have good manual dexterity and hand skills because he has to do a lot of tinkling and creating with his bare hands. Most of the work done by dental technicians also use equipments or machines, but these are mostly equipments that require operation by hand. The technician should be comfortable with the use of his hands, and should be precise and careful.
The materials that are used by dental technicians are highly varied; some are unyielding, like gold, silver, stainless steel, plastic, and some are delicate, like porcelain. Usually, a little creativity and handiwork can take the dental technician a very long way. After all, this is a bit like sculpting.
Also, dental technicians may need other special skills depending on the specialization they choose. They may choose to specialize in making prosthetics or on orthodontics where they make braces and retainers. If they specialize in porcelain veneers and ceramics, they need to be very careful with the materials as well.
2. Carrying Out Details and Instructions
A dental lab technician should be able to follow instructions, even the most detailed and specific ones. What dental technicians create are usually small or even tiny materials that are specifically fitted for a single individual. One wrong detail and the denture or the crown can easily become uncomfortable for the patient. Thus, following instructions and taking all details into consideration during the creation process is important for the technician.
3. Independence and Working Alone
Third, you also have to be very independent, to learn how to work alone and with initiative. Dental technicians need to be able to work with dentists and be on good terms with them in terms of relaying information and instructions. But most of the time, the technicians work on their own. Some people find this challenging, while some are more used to working alone. You should be comfortable with this since this is the nature of the work environment of a dental technician.
4. Knowledge and Training on Dental Anatomy
For a dental technician to be able to make natural-looking copies of teeth, it is extremely important for them to have sufficient knowledge and training on dental anatomy. This should be included in the curriculum of the dental technician since high school, before entering a dental technician program.
What Kind of Training is Necessary?
Training to become a dental technician is a combination of in-classroom teaching and hands-on training, with more focus towards the latter considering the nature of the job. Both types of training should be provided by a dental technician program that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation for the dental lab technician’s chances of getting hired to improve.
A dental technician program is not an equivalent to a full college degree, which is not a requirement before you can become a dental technician. You just have to complete high school and pass the entrance exam for the dental technician program. After you finish the course, you will be awarded with an associate’s degree or a certificate. This is not a full college degree, but it is enough for you to start working as one of the professionals in the dental health industry.
Those who have a plan to teach at a dental school or dental lab technician training program should have more extensive training. Those who want to seek better salary rates and get jobs more easily can get a 5-year training through apprenticeship for a more thorough and hands-on training.
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