Dental Laboratory Technician Training in Miami FL
Are you good with your hands, interested in helping people, and very detail-oriented? Then you may be an excellent dental laboratory technician. Becoming a dental laboratory technician means belonging to a specialized, in-demand profession that is experiencing a stable occupational outlook in the future.
As opposed to many skilled craftsman jobs that are losing ground or disappearing entirely as the labor force moves toward more technically oriented professions, the job outlook for dental laboratory technicians is strong. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of dental laboratory technicians is expected to experience little or no change from 2010 to 2020.”
On the whole, the aging population in the United States – particularly in Florida – means that there is significant demand for dental care. There were about 40,900 people working as dental laboratory technicians in 2010, and that number is expected to remain stable or rise just slightly in the current decade. According to the federal statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for dental laboratory technicians is $35,140 per year or $16.90 per hour.
Dental Laboratory Technicians: What Do They Do?
Dental laboratory technicians are highly skilled craftsman who design and construct the attachments and replacements for natural teeth, for both children and adults. Highly competent men and women are needed to meet the exacting requirements of patients with all types of dental work, in all types of dental offices.
According to the dentist’s instructions, the dental laboratory technician uses a detail-oriented eye and specifically trained manual skills to carefully fashion plastic and metal into a precise product that attaches to or replaces natural teeth. These products include crowns, bridges, dentures, dental implants and other dental products. They can also include therapeutic devices, such as orthodontic devices.
The Food and Drug Administration of the U.S. Government regulates these products as medical devices, so they are subject to the FDA’s good manufacturing practice (“GMP”) and quality system (“QS”) requirements. In most cases, however, they are exempt from manufacturer registration requirements.
Do I Need Certification to Work as a Dental Laboratory Technician?
Certification in the dental laboratory profession is entirely voluntary. There are no postsecondary education requirements to become a dental laboratory technician, but most dental laboratory technicians have at least a high school diploma. While dental laboratory technicians usually learn their skills on the job, attending a training program is a quick way to advance and gain an advantage in the hiring market. It may even help boost salary because a training program provides valuable professional expertise that allows a rookie technician to start off competently in the industry with solid technical knowledge and hands-on experience.
The laboratories where dental laboratory technicians work can become certified and those that do are considered top-notch. Often these labs require considerable experience or the successful completion of a training program from potential hires. If you are considering possible employment options, it is useful to know what the laboratory certifications mean.
The most easily obtainable certification for laboratories is the CDL (Certified Dental Laboratory). A Certified Dental Laboratory has met standards in personnel skill, laboratory facility maintenance, training, infection control, tracking mechanisms and good business and manufacturing practices. The certification is based on a third party review of photos of the facility.
The next tier for certification is DAMAS (Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Scheme). DAMAS requires a third party on-site inspection. Based on international standards for the manufacturing of medical devices, the DAMAS certification ensures the lab environment operates in such a way as to ensure product and patient safety. It provides a formula for improved documentation of many aspects of dental lab activity (from dental prescriptions to material traceability). DAMAS standards mirror the FDA’s quality system and good manufacturing practice standards, which all domestic dental laboratories must comply with.
Studying to Become a Dental Laboratory Technician at Florida National University
Florida National University (FNU) is a leader in training and educational programs in numerous fields involving healthcare and health care technology. In the dental field, FNU offers several courses of study. These include three separate programs for Dental Laboratory Training:
- Dental Laboratory Technician – Career Education Diploma
- Dental Laboratory Technician – Full and Partial Dentures
- Dental Laboratory Technician – Crown and Bridge and Porcelain
Each program is available in both English and Spanish. It is important to keep in mind, though, that studying and completing a course or program in a language other than English may reduce employability where English is required.
Dental Laboratory Technician – Career Education Diploma
This course of study trains students to become highly competent dental laboratory technicians who meet the exacting requirements of all types of dental offices. This program offers technical training and theory in general areas, as well as in Full and Partial Dentures and Crown & Bridge and Porcelain. The program requires a minimum of 60 credits. The ATB entrance scores required for admission are 200 – Verbal and 210 – Quantitative in the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test. FNU awards a diploma upon completion of the program.
Dental Laboratory Technician – Full and Partial Dentures
This course of study has the same entrance requirements described above. However, this program has a minimum of only 30 credits, and focuses more on technical training and theory in the areas of full and partial dentures.
Dental Laboratory Technician – Crown & Bridge and Porcelain
This course of study also has the same entrance requirements described above. This program also has a minimum of only 30 credits, and focuses more on technical training and theory in the areas of crown & bridge and porcelain.
Start a Stable and In-Demand Career Today as a Dental Laboratory Technician
Becoming a Dental Laboratory Technician is a great career option for people who are good with their hands, detail-oriented, enjoy making things, and want to improve people’s lives one patient at a time. It is quite literally a job that makes people smile.
If this sounds like a profession you would do well in, consider joining one of these training programs now. Call one of FNU’s career and admissions advisors today – we are here to help you plan your future!