Dental Laboratory Technician

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High school preferred +

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What They Do

Dental Laboratory Technicians Career Video

Constructs and repairs full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Reads prescriptions or specifications and examines models or impressions to determine the design of dental products to be constructed.
  • Tests appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.
  • Melts metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pours materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.
  • Creates a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.
  • Places tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.
  • Fabricates, alters, or repairs dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.
  • Removes excess metal or porcelain and polishes surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines.
  • Applies porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.
  • Prepares metal surfaces for bonding with porcelain to create artificial teeth, using small hand tools.
  • Loads newly constructed teeth into porcelain furnaces to bake the porcelain onto the metal framework.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Crown and Bridge Dental Lab Technician
  • Dental Ceramist
  • Dental Technician (Dental Tech)
  • Denture Technician
  • Metal Finisher
  • Model and Dye Person
  • Orthodontic Laboratory Technician (Orthodontic Lab Technician)
  • Porcelain Technician
  • Waxer