Dental Technician Training Programs and Requirements

Dental technicians are responsible for making crowns, dentures and other dental prosthetics. They also use plaster to make impressions and work with orthodontic appliances.

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Training Requirements and Recommendations

Although not required, many dental technicians complete an associate degree in the field. Some certificate programs may be available. Many dental technicians choose to become officially certified. Students interested in the field should be detail-oriented and able to work with their hands.

Formal Education

Many dental technicians hold only high school diplomas and receive on-the-job training. Associate degree programs in the field are widely available and offer students a more comprehensive course of study and practical training.

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Dental Technology

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Dental Technology is a 2-year, undergraduate degree program that is designed to prepare students for the workforce. Students may take courses in subjects like dental anatomy, restorative techniques and orthodontic techniques. Some general education courses, like English composition, may be required.

Job Experience

Dental technicians may receive clinical training during their degree program. The curriculum of most programs includes supervised, hands-on laboratory work. This provides students with the chance to gain practical experience making prosthetics. Much of a dental technician's experience is gained through on-the-job training after being hired.

Licenses and Certifications

Although not required by most states, dental technicians may earn Dental Laboratory Technology National Board certification. This involves passing a specialty written exam, a comprehensive written examination and a specialty practical exam.

Workshops and Seminars

Workshops for dental technicians are widely available and may address recent advancements made in the field, such as newly developed tools or techniques. These may be offered through educational institutions and dental organizations.

Additional Professional Development

Certified dental technicians must complete 12 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification. The Academy of General Dentistry and American Dental Association offer a variety of continuing education courses for dental technicians.

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