Dental Lab Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a dental lab technician job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a dental lab technician. Feel free to use our dental lab technician job description template to produce your own dental lab technician job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a dental lab technician.
Who is a Dental Lab Technician?
A Dental Laboratory Technician is a person who manufactures dental prosthetics and appliances. A dental lab technician collaborates with dentists to plan, design, and create dental prostheses for specific patients.
Dental lab technicians cooperate with dentists, orthodontists, dental surgeons, and other dental specialists while working in a dental laboratory. They examine the precise dental impressions of the patient and create goods using ceramics, porcelain, gold, and other materials following their requirements. They might work on dental appliances such as orthopedic braces or bridges. When a component has been completed, it is sent to the dentist to ensure it suits the patient. Dental laboratory technicians operate precisely and pay close attention to little details.
The dentist is in charge of placing the restoration or correcting device in the patient’s mouth and sending the dental laboratory a prescription outlining the final treatment option. Dental lab technicians make prostheses or corrective devices. They also assist the dentist in material selection and case design. The dental laboratory technician influences the patient’s physical and dental health and his or her confidence and self-esteem by creating functional and aesthetically pleasing dental prostheses and enhancing the patient’s smile.
They use their hands to perfect each piece to exact standards and fine-tune them to requirements. Since every patient is different, there can never be two identical pieces, and perfect accuracy is necessary to ensure that the device is comfortable and functional.
Dental lab technicians assist dentists in their back offices. They create a wax duplicate of the patient’s teeth using the mold after the dentist has taken a cast off the teeth. They then use this wax replica to create any necessary crowns, bridges, or fake teeth and adjust these appliances as the dentist instructs. Dental lab technicians hardly touch anyone’s mouth or scrape off plaque. In actuality, they only come into contact with patients in circumstances that call for a visual examination of the patient’s teeth. Despite the size of many labs, some technicians work independently in their studios and can contract with dentists.
There is a demand for additional dental lab technicians because the dental sector is expanding quickly. Dental laboratories will need individuals who can run complicated machinery and generate high-quality items as they become more sophisticated. Dental laboratories now use more digital instruments and equipment as technology develops. The demand for those with experience with these new technologies is rising because of this change. Dental laboratory technicians can increase their efficiency and output while also ensuring they are on top of the most recent trends in the field by learning how to use digital tools and equipment. Additionally, as dental laboratories strive to grow their staff, this tendency may result in more job openings.
Patients are now interested in preventative dentistry as they understand the significance of caring for their teeth at a young age. The demand for dental laboratory technologists with expertise in procedures is rising. Dental laboratory technologists will be in great demand from patients and dentists as they become more knowledgeable in preventative dentistry. They will do what they love while making a fine career and establishing themselves as authorities in the field.
Most dental laboratory technicians work in commercial dental labs, which range in size from extremely small to big. They can work on dental professionals’ prescriptions and adapt and repair appliances in these labs. Some who work in large laboratories find a specialty. They could also work as a specialized technician creating maxillofacial and other dental tools in a hospital dentistry department.
Dental Lab Technician Job Description
What is a dental lab technician job description? A dental lab technician job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a dental lab technician in an organization. Below are the dental lab technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a dental lab technician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a dental lab technician include the following:
- Make bites and specific trays, casts, mouth guards, and retainers, among other parts of prosthetic work.
- Create metal or non-metal partial or full dentures to replace missing teeth.
- Design dental equipment using CAD/CAM and conventional techniques.
- Keep records for dental laboratories and write reports on lab activity.
- Update knowledge by taking advantage of training opportunities, reading specialized publications, establishing personal networks, and joining professional organizations.
- Modify dental devices and prostheses before final installation.
- Ensure maintenance of dental equipment and assist with repairs
- Track procedures and follow industry rules and safety guidelines.
- Keep up with new developments in dental laboratory technologies and methods.
- GED certification or a high school certificate
- Associate or bachelor’s degree in a dental laboratory technology
- Certified in dental lab technology or a related profession (maybe optional)
- At least one year of experience in a dental lab which could be an internship
- Knowledge of the usage of dental tools
A Dental lab technician needs to have a few skills that enable them to produce final products that look natural to succeed in their field. They consist of:
- Attention to details
Dental laboratory technicians need exceptional attention to detail to ensure their work is of the highest caliber. For them to be able to produce the right dental products, they must be able to follow directions accurately. Dental laboratory technicians who pay close attention to detail might also see potential problems with the dental items they are working on.
Natural teeth are not flawless by any means. They should therefore be able to spot the minor imperfections present in every tooth. Recognizing these features on the original tooth allows the technicians to replicate them on the replacement tooth or teeth. It is important to note that attending to detail entails more than just producing a replica of the original tooth from an impression or existing mold. For the patient to have a proper fit, the dental lab technician must make the replacement the same size as the original.
Modern equipment and computers are used in dental labs to speed up the production process for technicians. A dental lab technician refines the crude model of the tooth produced by computers, 3D printers, and mills into a smooth, lifelike replacement.
A dental lab technician must be able to begin the project using modeling software or a computer, then manually complete the tooth. Since technology in this field is evolving, it is advantageous to be mentally flexible enough to keep up with these developments and stay up to date.
Since no two teeth are the same, each project is unique. A device or prosthetic should resemble the original as closely as possible. They decide how to mold the object to resemble the original contours by honing your artistic skills.
They must recognize the difficulties of the job and design their projects to meet those obstacles. The patient’s models must be used as a starting point, although the complete tooth may not be visible. They use their understanding of the dental structure and combine it with their creative abilities to produce a finished result that looks nice and blends in with the rest of the teeth in situations like this. These experts blend artistic skills and innovative thinking with medical science and technology to design personalized dental aligners and replacements. They must sculpt these prostheses like an artist using materials since each must be distinctive.
- Color perceptive
Sometimes teeth are not entirely white. Over time, they develop stains that naturally give them an off-white or yellowish tone. An individual might have many colors of staining, and some people have more intense staining than others. Dental lab technicians should be able to match the color provided to them and get as close to the original shade as possible. It requires good color perception and color-matching skills.
Dental laboratory technicians must know how to communicate well because they frequently interact with patients and other dental professionals. These professionals have to be able to explain their work to others and respond to inquiries about it.
- Hand-eye coordination
They can manipulate small objects, specialized tools, technology, and materials with dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Although 3D modeling software, 3D printers, and milling machines account for a large portion of the work done in dental labs, handcrafted, but still outperform technology in many situations. It takes dexterity to work with tools and materials to produce dental prostheses and appliances that fit correctly and look natural. They should be able to work with the dentist’s mold or cast and incorporate what they see into the project to accomplish this. A dental lab technician needs to be adept at utilizing instruments when shaping materials.
They might work in a small office with just one or two other dental lab technicians, or they might be one of many technicians employed there. Being able to work independently means they can do activities on their own without assistance. Dental laboratory technicians sometimes work by themselves in the lab, so this is a crucial skill. They might collaborate with a group of dental specialists, but there is no guarantee of a significant interaction.
- Mechanical aptitude
Dental laboratory technicians must have a solid knowledge of the various dentistry materials and equipment utilized in the dental business. This includes understanding the kinds of tools and materials, how to use them, and how to maintain and clean them. It is significant since it guarantees the effectiveness and safety of the dental goods they produce.
Dental laboratory technicians that possess mechanical aptitude can utilize and comprehend dental equipment. They employ their skill to operate and maintain dental equipment and troubleshoot and restore it.
- Time management skills
Dental labs often allow technicians to work largely independently. Sometimes they are part of a team but most likely perform the work. They should be able to manage their own time, stay on target and keep their focus on the relevant details of their work. Patients expect to receive their dental prosthetics and appliances in a timely fashion. They will be responsible for monitoring the time duration they put into finishing a piece. They will be required to communicate any potential delays in your project if there are complicating issues.
How to Become a Dental Lab Technician
Obtain educational degree
A person must complete high school or obtain a diploma to begin a career as a dental laboratory technician.
After that, the person should attain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a dental laboratory. A person should go to an approved dental laboratory technician school to acquire knowledge in the field. The duration of these programs can differ. In dental laboratory technology, there are one-year postsecondary certificate programs, two-year associate’s degree programs, and a few programs that provide four-year bachelor’s programs.
People who apply for these programs may acquire skills like making crowns, bridges, and dentures, working with materials like metals, ceramics, and wax, and using production processes and technology like CAD scanning and design.
Obtain professional certifications
Dental laboratory technicians can demonstrate their professional knowledge and fine-tuned abilities by earning one of the several voluntary certifications available. Obtaining these credentials can assist them in finding work, developing their career, and raising their earning potential. Professional exams differ in various countries that offer certificates to people interested in becoming dental laboratory technicians.
Where to Work as a Dental Lab Technician
- Dental laboratories
- Dental schools
- Dental manufacturing and supplying companies
- Private practice
- Private dental offices
Dental Lab Technician Salary Scale
Salaries depend on education, areas of expertise, level of experience, and the company someone is working at.
In the United States
Dental lab technicians make an annual average salary of $48,320. Their salary fall between $38,190 – $62,090. It is lower or more.
In the United Kingdom
A trainee dental technician may make an annual average salary between £17,500 and £20,200.
Qualified dental lab technicians can earn salaries ranging from about £23,000 to more than £45,000.