Dental Laboratory Technician
At a Glance
Years in School (after high school graduation):
2 years or less
$16.74-$37.92 (Mean $26.16)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data for medical and clinical laboratory technicians
One-page Description (PDF):
Dental laboratory technicians, working in conjunction with dentists, make and repair artificial replacements for natural teeth and make corrective devices, including dentures, bridges, and crowns. Dental lab technicians (DLT) may work as an employee of a dentist, or they may own and operate their own lab and contract with several dentists. DLTs do not normally have personal contact with patients but may be requested by the dentist to confirm a color match or see the fit of an item directly in the mouth.
Most dental laboratory technicians in Alaska work in private practices as employees or contractors of dentists.
Careers can begin without college level courses through on-the-job-training in dental laboratories or dental offices. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) offers an accredited curriculum within dental schools, community colleges, vocational-technical schools, and private institutions. Most training sequences are similar:
- Graduation from high school or a GED. Biology, English, and office skills are often desirable. Good grades make it easier to be accepted into dental lab technology training.
- DLT programs are generally two years in length and award either a vocational certificate, community college associate degree, or both at the conclusion of the program.
There are several ADA accredited Dental Lab Technology degree programs across the US. However, none are available in Alaska at this time. A listing of all the accredited dental laboratory technology education programs in the United States can be found on the American Dental Association website at http://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs/allied-programs The closest program is in Oregon. Because slots are limited, students should submit applications one or two semesters prior to their desired enrollment date.
Portland Community College
P.O. Box 19000
Portland, OR 97280-0990
Phone: (971) 722-4795
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 440-2500
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