DENTAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN
A Dental laboratory technician makes dental prostheses, which are replacements for natural
teeth to help people eat, chew, talk or smile. The dental laboratory technician needs artistic
aptitude for detailed and precise work, manual dexterity and skill in using small hand
instruments and equipment.
Technicians are valuable members of the dental care team although they rarely work directly
with patients. They receive instruction from dentists by following written instructions and using
impressions (molds) of the patient’s teeth or soft tissue to create full dentures, crowns, bridges,
or orthodontic appliances. They often perform much of their work without close supervision.
Some duties of a dental laboratory technician may include:
Fabricates fixed bridges, partials, dentures, veneers and crowns
Create orthodontic appliances and splints to help straighten and protect teeth
Work with materials such as waxes, plastics, precious and non-precious alloys, stainless
steel, a variety of porcelains and composites or polymer glass combinations
Educational requirements could include:
Community college/ course work
Vocational/technical school/ education and training
Experienced technicians can find well-paid positions in commercial laboratories based on their
technical or communication skills, become a member of a larger laboratory team, or potentially
start their own laboratories. Technicians may teach dental technology courses through
educational programs. They may apply their knowledge to research, sales and/or marketing of
prosthetic materials, equipment or instruments.
Services performed by dental technicians will always be needed. As the population grows older,
the demand for prostheses (which improves patients’ nutrition, appearance and ability to speak
clearly) will continue to rise.
California Dental Association