What Is Dental Laboratory Technology?

Dental laboratory technology is the process of designing and creating dental prosthetics.

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What is Dental Laboratory Technology?

Dental Laboratory Technology is the art and science of designing and fabricating dental appliances in a dental laboratory. Dental Laboratory Technicians work closely with dentists and other dental professionals to create custom-made, esthetically pleasing, and functional appliances that are used to replace missing teeth, support oral structures, and correct dental malocclusions.

Dental Laboratories use a variety of materials to fabricate dental appliances, including metals, ceramics, plastics, and composite resins. Dental Laboratory Technicians must be skilled in the use of these materials and have a thorough knowledge of the properties of each. They must also be proficient in the use of a variety of hand tools and dental equipment.

Dental Laboratory Technology is a demanding profession that requires both artistic ability and scientific knowledge. Dental Laboratory Technicians must have good eye-hand coordination and be able to work with attention to detail. They must be able to follow written and verbal instructions and be able to work independently. Good communication skills are also important, as Dental Laboratory Technicians need to be able to explain procedures and techniques to dentists and other dental team members.

The History of Dental Laboratory Technology

Dental laboratory technology is a field that has evolved over time to meet the ever-changing needs of dentists and patients alike. Today, dental laboratories are highly complex facilities that use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to create custom dental prosthetics.

The history of dental laboratory technology is a long and fascinating one. Early dentists were often limited in their ability to create custom dental prosthetics, and as a result, many patients were forced to make do with improvised solutions.

In the early 1800s, a French dentist named Gaspard Le Moyne de Lestang is credited with inventing the first porcelain tooth. This breakthrough paved the way for further advances in dental prosthetics, and by the late 1800s, it was possible for dentists to create fairly lifelike false teeth using porcelain.

As the years went by, dental laboratories continued to evolve and grow in sophistication. Today, they are able to create highly realistic dental prosthetics using a variety of materials and techniques. Thanks to these advances, many patients who once had to suffer from poor-fitting or uncomfortable dentures can now enjoy natural-looking and feeling teeth that restore their confidence and quality of life.

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The Dental Laboratory Technician

A dental laboratory technician is a skilled professional who works in a dental laboratory to create custom-made dental appliances. These appliances include crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, veneers, and orthodontic appliances. The technician uses a variety of materials, including metals, porcelain, and plastics, to create these appliances.

The dental laboratory technician must have a thorough knowledge of the structure and function of the teeth and jaw in order to create appliances that fit comfortably and function properly. In addition, the technician must be able to work with accuracy and precision in order to create appliances that meet the dentist’s specifications.

While some dental laboratory technicians are self-employed, most work in dental laboratories that are owned by dentists or large dental practices. These technicians usually work closely with dentists and other members of the dental team to ensure that all appliances are made correctly and meet the patient’s needs.

The Dental Technician’s Work

Dental laboratory technicians work in laboratories and usually are not involved in direct patient care. They use a variety of tools and techniques to make dental prostheses, which are artificial replacements for missing teeth.

Dental laboratory technicians generally work on dental implants, dentures, bridges, crowns, and other orthodontic appliances. They use impression materials to make models of patients’ teeth and oral structures. They then use these models to create dental prostheses that fit the patients’ mouths.

Dental laboratory technicians typically use metals, porcelain, plastics, and other materials to create dental prostheses. They may use CAD/CAM systems to create computer-generated models of dental prostheses. They also may use 3-D printers to print models of dental prostheses.

Dental laboratory technicians typically work full time. Some technicians work in private laboratories, while others work in hospitals or other health care facilities.

The Dental Laboratory

The dental laboratory is a vital part of the dental team. It is the place where dental prostheses (false teeth) are made. Dental laboratories range in size from small, one-man operations to large commercial laboratories employing many technicians.

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The type of work done in a dental laboratory depends on the size of the laboratory and the skills of the technicians employed there. In a small laboratory, one technician may do all phases of work, from taking impressions of patients’ mouths to finishing and polishing the final prosthesis. Usually, however, each technician specializes in one or two phases of work.

In a large commercial laboratory, each technician performs only one or two operations on each prosthesis. For example, some technicians may make only denture bases; others may pour and trim models; still others may fabricate metal frameworks or do surface work such as porcelain veneering.

The American Dental Association recognizes nine different areas of specialization within dental laboratory technology: complete dentures, crowns and bridges, implant-supported restorations, maxillofacial prosthetics, orthodontic appliances, partial dentures, porcelain laminate veneers, removable partial dentures and sealants.

Dental Laboratory Technology Education

Dental laboratory technology is a field of study that involves the creation and repair of dental prosthetics. Dental laboratory technicians work with dentists to create custom dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, and implants.

Dental laboratory technology programs typically last two years and lead to an Associate’s degree. These programs can be found at community colleges and technical schools.

During their studies, dental laboratory technicians learn about tooth anatomy, dental materials, and CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) technologies. They also gain hands-on experience working with dental plaster, waxes, metals, porcelain, and other materials.

Upon graduation, dental laboratory technicians are prepared to take the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology exam. Those who pass this exam earn the Certified Dental Technician (CDT) credential.

Dental Laboratory Technology Certification

Dental Laboratory Technology Certification
Those interested in becoming dental technicians may pursue certification through the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Candidates for certification must have successfully completed an accredited dental laboratory technology education program and must pass a written examination. Certification is voluntary but may be required by some employers.

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Dental Laboratory Technology Careers

Dental laboratory technicians are an integral part of the dental care team. They design and create custom dental prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and Orthodontic appliances, according to oral specifications provided by dentists and other dental specialists. Dental laboratory technicians use a variety of tools and techniques to create these life-like dental prosthetics.

Although most dental laboratory technicians work in commercial laboratories, some may find employment in dental schools or hospitals. Many technicians are self-employed.Most dental laboratory technicians have completed a 2-year program in dental laboratory technology at a community college, vocational-technical school, or university. Some technicians may complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in dental laboratory technology.

Dental Laboratory Technology Salary

Dental Laboratory Technology is a field of dentistry that deals with the design and manufacture of dental prosthetics and appliances. Dental Laboratory Technicians use their knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and dental materials to create custom-made devices that replace missing teeth, improve the appearance of teeth, or correct dental problems.

The median annual salary for Dental Laboratory Technicians is $35,580. Dental Laboratory Technicians with 1-4 years of experience earn an average of $12.07 per hour, while those with 5-9 years of experience earn an average of $18.59 per hour. The most experienced Dental Laboratory Technicians earn an average of $24.00 per hour.

Dental Laboratory Technology Job Outlook

Dental laboratory technicians fabricate dental prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges, dentures and implants, according to prescriptions from dentists. They work in clean, well-lighted and ventilated areas. Because precision is essential in these occupations, workers must pay close attention to detail.

Employment of dental laboratory technicians is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. An aging population will increase the demand for dental services because older adults tend to have more dental problems than younger people. In addition, as advancements are made in the field of implantology (the replacement of missing teeth with artificial ones), more dental laboratory technicians will be needed to fabricate these implants.

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