Dental Laboratory Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Dental laboratory technicians and technologists usually get their training at 2-year trade schools and community or vocational colleges. Dental lab technicians make dentures, crowns, bridges and other oral appliances. Read on for tips on choosing the best school for your dental lab tech training.
Selecting a School or College for Dental Laboratory Training
Basic dental lab training typically takes two or three semesters and awards a certificate. Longer programs, usually two years or five semesters, add small business courses or more depth and award the Associate of Applied Science. The Associate of Science degree program includes a year of dental lab skills courses and a year of general education. This prepares the graduate to continue for a 4-year degree if desired. A dental lab technician reads and understands orthodontics, dental prescriptions and oral impressions.
He or she understands how the mouth and jaw work, creating, measuring and testing dental appliances for proper occlusion and function. She or he is also familiar with techniques for working with metal, porcelain, composites and other materials to build oral appliances. Time management, making ethical decisions, communication, customer relations and prioritizing work are important skills used daily in the dental lab tech's profession. Therefore, choosing the right college or school for dental laboratory studies involves looking at the curriculum to be sure those subjects are covered.
Some colleges have internship opportunities; these can help in finding a job after graduation. If you are a non-traditional student, you may be limited in the time you have available for classes. Extensive labs are part of any dental laboratory technology program, but some schools offer evening or weekend options.
Largest Colleges by Student Enrollment
|College/University||Student population||Institution Type|
|Riverside Community College||36,146||2-year, Public|
|Pima Community College||34,136||2-year, Public|
|Pasadena City College||26,713||2-year, Public|
|Portland Community College||26,278||2-year, Public|
|Columbus State Community College||24,482||2-year, Public|
|San Antonio College||21,766||2-year, Public|
|Wayne County Community College District||21,540||2-year, Public|
|Diablo Valley College||21,205||2-year, Public|
|Southern Illinois University Carbondale||20,673||4-year, Public|
|Los Angeles City College||19,672||2-year, Public|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||18,780||2-year, Public|
|Indian River State College||15,366||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|Kirkwood Community College||15,241||2-year, Public|
|CUNY New York City College of Technology||14,268||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|Erie Community College||13,703||2-year, Public|
|J Sargeant Reynolds Community College||13,079||2-year, Public|
|Idaho State University||12,653||4-year, Public|
|Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne||12,338||4-year, Public|
|Bluegrass Community and Technical College||12,143||2-year, Public|
|Middlesex Community College||8,522||2-year, Public|
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