If your career interests lie in the field of dentistry, there are a number of ways you can pursue the education that’s required to work in this industry. You could become a dentist, dental assistant, but if you’re more interested in the technical side of this profession, then you might want to consider working as Dental Laboratory Technician.
As a Dental Laboratory Technician, you will be responsible for operating orthodontic appliances and constructing dentures, crowns and bridges. In this profession, you will be working meticulously with your hands to craft one-of-a-kind dental products.
The Need for Professionally Maintained Teeth
You have the rest of your life to maintain the health of your adult teeth that are unique to every individual—so much that dental records are used to identify people who are visibly unrecognizable.
The importance of good dental health is crucial. A good set of teeth will help us digest our food better. It’s vital in how we speak, and it gives us a great smile!
How Neglected Dental Health Results in Loss of Teeth
Unfortunately, the health of teeth isn’t always the forefront of every person’s to-do list—until it actually becomes a problem. When the upkeep of hygiene is neglected, the tooth can begin to decay-causing an immense amount of. If the tooth or teeth can’t be saved, then it must be removed. While many people may by OK with functioning without any of their molars, it usually becomes a problem when the missing tooth is near the front of the mouth where the gap is more visible.
Other Reasons for Dental Replacements
Granted, lack of good hygiene is not always the underlying result for loss of teeth. Athletes, Veterans, and people who have been in accidents have been known to need dental replacements. Whatever the reason for replacement teeth, this is where the Dental Laboratory Technician’s expertise is needed.
What Does a Dental Laboratory Technician Do?
A Dental Laboratory Technician will use impressions and molds taken by the dentist or dental assistant to create either complete or partial dentures or the crown and bridge with porcelain, gold, or silver. The type of material depends on what the patients prefer and what their health care covers. It also depends widely upon what kind of materials the lab has readily available.
The Dental Laboratory Technician specializes in creating prosthetic teeth by working with small appliances using materials like wax, plastic and porcelain. With today’s technological advances, technicians are also utilizing computer programs to produce the results they’re looking to achieve.
However, none of this can be accomplished without proper education and training.
Where to Find a Good Dental Laboratory Technician Program
To be the best Dental Laboratory Technician in the Miami area, you’ll need to attend one of the top universities in the area that will teach you so much more than the technical aspects of the profession. At Florida National University (FNU), you can earn a quality education by earning an Associate of Science in Dental Laboratory Technology.
FNU’s Dental Laboratory Technology Degree Program
You can enroll in a technical college and learn the bare basics of what it means to be a Dental Laboratory Technician. However, the drawback with such technical degrees is that they tend to pigeonhole you into one profession. Should you aspire to evolve in your career, you’d have to start all over again in terms of education. The Dental Laboratory Technician degree at FNU offers the technical training and theory in the areas relating to full and partial dentures, crown & bridge, and porcelain.
Students enrolled in this associate’s degree program will need to complete 60 credit hours of core courses. These core courses will focus on the subjects of dental anatomy, special prosthesis, the technical fundamentals of the waxing and carving system. Also included is the construction and design for working casts and dies, vacuum and porcelain procedures, along with glazing, staining, and characterization techniques.
Get a Well-Rounded Education with FNU’s Dental Lab Technology Degree
So many technical aspects are involved with crafting unique mouthpieces. As a regionally accredited university, FNU is committed to ensuring all of our dental students receive a well-rounded education. In addition to the technical training, as an FNU student, you will be required to complete approximately 15 credit hours of general education and liberal arts courses.
While this degree program is not designed to transfer to a senior institution, you can pursue any of FNU’s bachelor and/or master degree programs. The general and liberal courses within the associate’s program are transferable.
FNU Teaches Bilingual Dental Lab Tech Courses
Another great benefit that FNU offers with our Dental Laboratory Associate’s program is the ability to earn the degree in either English or Spanish.
FNU’s main campus is based in the heart of Hialeah, Florida with another campus in Miami, the city where Spanish is the second-most spoken language.
There are two benefits to learning this profession bilingually:
- Graduates of this program will be able to sharpen their English speaking and comprehension skills. This is a great opportunity for immigrants who may not be well spoken in the English language, but willing to learn a technical trade.
FNU also offers three levels of English as a Second Language certificate programs that will also help them become better students and professionals working in the United States.
- Graduates who don’t know much Spanish will be able to familiarize themselves with the language, especially if they plan to work in the Miami area.
How Much Does a Dental Laboratory Technician Make?
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a Dental Lab Technicians’ average salary is approximately $40,760 at $19.59 an hour. They further reported that this occupation is projected to grow about 10% by the year 2024 due to the decreasing cost of cosmetic prosthetics. It is projected that since the price is going down, more people will be able to afford them. That means more technicians will be needed.
It’s not too late to get started toward earning a college degree. If you’re still uncertain about becoming a Dental Lab Technician, then ask an FNU advisor about enrolling in one of our Dental Laboratory Technician diploma programs that only take approximately 8 months to complete. Contact us today to start the admissions process!