Job description: What does a dental technician do?
Crown, bridges, implants – these are the main fields of activity of a dental technician. The specialist’s manufacture or repair fixed and removable dental prostheses. These replace single or multiple teeth.
The production of the “third teeth”, as the artificial teeth are also called, takes place in several steps:
- The attending dentist takes a dental impression.
- This is filled with plaster of Paris by the dental technician.
- Using the plaster model, the specialists create the desired prosthesis.
Materials such as metal, ceramic, and titanium are used. Incidentally, dental technicians are also skilled in making braces. They do not design, manufacture, and model the respective piece by hand, but with a computer using Computer-Aided Design (CAD). In very modern dental laboratories where dental technicians work, even 3D printers are used in production. The repair and cleaning of prostheses, braces, or broken artificial teeth are also among the tasks of the dental technician.
The work-life balance in the profession is balanced. Dental technicians usually work within normal office hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Overtime sometimes happens, but rarely. The chances on the job market are good for dental technicians.
Education: How to become a dental lab technician?
Like many other training courses, the dental technician apprenticeship is organized in two ways and therefore takes place in parallel in the vocational school and training company. In contrast to other training courses, it lasts not just three, but three and a half years. Many employers require at least a good secondary school leaving certificate.
The training content includes:
- Anatomical basics of the jaw
- Transfer of lower jaw movements in simulators
- Application and use of different materials
- Make reconstructions of teeth
- Planning and manufacturing of prostheses, implants, or dental bridges
- Processing of various metals
- Processing of ceramics
- Use of tools and machines
- Manufacture of orthodontic appliances
- Setting the dentures on a patient’s teeth
The apprenticeship as a dental technician, as the profession is also known, includes an intermediate examination after the second year of training and ends with the journeyman’s examination.
Employer: Who is looking for a dental technician
Dental technicians find a job with these employers:
- In dental laboratories
- In dental practice laboratories
- In dental clinics
Salary: How much does a dental technician make?
The salary of dental technicians depends on these factors such as the size of the employer, the region, and the work experience.
Map of dental technician salaries
The darker areas on the map show where dental technicians earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.
- Median Annual Salary: $38,046
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $58,000
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $19,500
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Entry opportunities: The prospects for dental technicians
Dental technicians have a bright future ahead of them. The reason: The population is getting older and the need for dental prosthesis products is increasing. Hence, applicants are almost certain to have a job in this field.
Application: How do dental technicians score
Dental technicians can score points with employers by presenting the right mix of hard and soft skills in their application documents. These include, among others, these aspects:
- Completed education
- Skilled craftsmanship
- Technical interest
- Precision and care
- Independent work
- Plastics technology
Career: The development opportunities as a dental technician
Is the apprenticeship as a dental technician over? Then, after a few years at the latest, the question arises: How will your career continue? The next steps on the career ladder can best be climbed through relevant further training.
These degrees are eligible:
- Dental technician
- Technical manager
- Specialist in the craft industry
All of these advanced training courses make it possible to pursue either a specialist or a management career. As a master, dental technicians can even become self-employed and train their apprentices. In the field of dental technology, there are exciting courses such as dentistry or medical technology.
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