Dental Laboratory Technicians

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Also known as:
Crown and Bridge Dental Lab Technician, Crown and Bridge Technician, Crown Ceramist, Dental Ceramist, Dental Laboratory Worker, Dental Mold Maker, Dental Technician, Orthodontic Technician

ABOUT DENTAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Dental laboratory technicians design and create crowns, bridges, dentures, and other prosthetics from impressions taken of a patient's mouth. Using molds supplied by dentists, these technicians shape wax teeth that will be used as a model to cast a metal framework for the prosthetic device. They then apply layers of color matched porcelain to the metal to create an exact replica of the patients tooth or teeth.

The majority of dental laboratory technicians learn their craft on the job. Some courses may be available at vocational schools and community colleges. The necessary qualifications are manual dexterity, good vision, and the ability to recognize fine differences in color and shape.

Most dental laboratory technicians never meet the patient who will use their creations. But their skill at doing their jobs directly affects not only the physical and dental health of another person, but also that person's confidence and self-esteem. And that makes this a special job indeed.

SNAPSHOT
Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Create a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.

Remove excess metal or porcelain and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines.

Place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.

Melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.

Fabricate, alter, or repair dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.

Read prescriptions or specifications and examine models or impressions to determine the design of dental products to be constructed.

Test appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
TOP SKILLS
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.