How to Become a Dental Technician

Dental Technicians work in conjunction with dentists in order to help repair any problems with a person’s teeth.

Dental Technicians don’t deal with the typical responsibilities you would expect from a dental office employee.

They don’t deal with dental appointments, cleanings or cavities.

Their job is to create dental prosthetics such as dentures or veneers for patients who need shiny new teeth.

Because every person’s mouth is different, Dental prosthetics have to be made specifically for each patient.

Dental Technicians begin their work once they receive instructions, called a work authorization, from a dentist.

Along with the work authorization, dentists will also submit a patient’s detailed impression of their mouth.

Search for Dental Technician Programs Now!
Choose a Program

sponsored schools

With all that information regarding a patient, a Dental Technician will get right to work in order to create dental prosthetics for a patient.

A Dental Technician can perform all their duties

Education Requirements to Become a Dental Technician

Potential Dental Technicians need a combination of education and training in order to find employment.

Candidates can choose to complete a program from a variety of educational institutions in order to meet this requirement including: community colleges, technical or vocational schools or a dental school.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has approved of at least 24 programs that candidates can join in order to become a Dental Technician .

Through these programs, students will complete two years of formal education and training receiving either a certificate or Associate’s Degree at completion.

In addition, some programs offer a four year Bachelor’s degree in Dental Technology.

In addition, some branches of the military can also provide training to those who want to become a Dental Technician.

Candidates who take this route will learn by having on the job training.

A candidate who is looking to become a Dental Technician can also apply for certification through the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC).

Visit: NBC Certification for more information regarding certification and the renewal process.

After certification is completed and approved, a candidate will become a Certified Dental Technician specialized in the following areas:

  • Dentures
  • Orthodontics
  • Partial removable Dentures
  • Crown and bridge

Dental Technician Job Description

A Dental Technician doesn’t necessarily have to interact with the patients they help; they can perform all their job functions by merely working with a patient’s dental impressions, molds or soft tissues.

With newer technology now available, some patient impressions are now able to be created digitally.

Their job is behind the scenes creating dental replacements such as dentures, crowns, bridges, veneers or orthodontic appliances and splints using the information a dentist has gathered about the patient.

A Dental Technician will take the written directions, called a work authorization from a dentist and use a patient’s dental impressions in order to create all the dental hardware to make a person’s mouth healthier and functional.

After receiving a patient’s dental impressions, a Dental Technician will create a model of the patient’s mouth using plaster letting it sit until it is dry.

Dental Technicians will then use the model in order to create prosthetic teeth for the patient.

A Dental Technician must have strong attention to detail in order to create specialized dental prosthetics for a patient.

Things can also get messy as Dental Technicians work with a variety of materials in order to make a patient’s dental hardware.

Possible materials Dental Technicians use include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Porcelain
  • Waxes
  • Plastics
  • Alloys, both precious and non-precious

Dental Technician Salary and Career Path

Beginning salary for a Dental Technician starts off at approximately $35,000 per year.

Upon gaining experience in the field, a certified Dental Technician can make upwards of $70,000 annually with supervisors making an average of $75,000.

Salary also depends on the location where a Dental Technician works; average salaries are national figures and vary between states.

Dental Technicians perform a very special job in their field.

They help create custom made dental prosthetics for patients with nonfunctional or missing teeth.

Dental Technicians not only help improve a person’s appearance, they play a fundamental role in helping their patients live a healthier lifestyle.

Top Programs

Find a Program