Even though there aren't any post secondary education requirements for becoming a dental lab technician, you do need to have a high school diploma. Technicians will often learn all of their skills while working on the job.
Training: What All Does it Entail?
Working in dental lab technician careers allows you to learn your skills through training on-the-job. Most individuals will often begin as a helper in the lab and learn a number of different advanced skills while gaining experience. Technicians can begin with pouring plaster into impressions to form models. As individuals gain experience, they will progress to more difficult tasks, such as making bridges and porcelain crowns. Since all labs differ, the length of time required for training will vary.
What Educational Requirements Needed?
High school diplomas are the standard requirements for landing in one of the dental lab technician careers. A high school student who is interested in becoming a lab technician should take courses in mathematics, science, art and computer programming.
Formal education programs for those wishing to work in dental lab technician careers can be found at community colleges, vocational schools and universities. Most of the time, the program takes around two years to complete, although there are some four-year programs available as well. All of the programs offer courses in dental ceramics, dental anatomy, partial dentures and dentures. As the labs continue manufacturing parts for dental appliances through the use of an advanced computer program, it might be helpful for technicians to take classes in programming and computer skills.
The NBCCERT provides students with certification as a Certified Dental Technician. You can choose certification in one of the following specialties: crowns and bridges, orthodontic appliances, partial dentures, complete dentures, ceramics and implants. To qualify for certification, the technician has to have at least five years of training on-the-job or experience in dental technology, or have graduated from an accredited program. Passing grades on three exams is also required.
The NBCCERT also provides students with a modularization program leading to a Certificate of Competency. Students can also gain certification in specific skills through a practical and written exam for that skill.
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