Dental technicians are professionals who create various dental prosthetics, from crowns and dentures to bridges. Commonly referred to as dental laboratory technicians, the dental techs work in various specialties from ceramics and partial dentures to crowns and bridges as well as other orthodontic appliances. These professionals construct, assemble and repair crowns, inlays, bridges and dentures, and one of the greatest things about becoming a dental technician is that the job only requires a high school diploma or an equivalent. When it comes to the salary of the dental laboratory technician, it must be said that these professionals should expect to earn a salary between $36,000 and $53,000, depending on their skills, training and personal experience in the field.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
Dental laboratory technicians have a high average income in states like Montana, Alaska or the District of Columbia, the latter being currently ranked as the highest paying state for dental technicians, with a mean yearly salary of $62,000. Alaska pays its dental specialists a mean wage of $54,000 a year, while Montana rewards them with $52,000. On the other hand, the states of Massachusetts and Minnesota pays its dental technician mean wages of around $47,000 a year, while Utah and Connecticut pays them around $42,000 a year.
Dental Technician Job Description
It is the duty of the dental technician to maintain and improve the oral health of patients by creating both removable and fixed prostheses, according to the prescriptions and recommendations of the dentist. It is the duty of the dental laboratory technician to replace either the partial or the total loss of natural teeth, as well as to restore the natural teeth with the help of bridges and crowns.
Dental laboratory technicians also complete different implantology procedures and they correct various dental irregularities with fixed or removable appliances. These professionals can efficiently and naturally replace missing tissues of the face or body caused by disease, injuries or developmental abnormalities.
The dental laboratory technicians also make moulds and models of the teeth and mouth, they improve the quality of their work by evaluating and studying the teeth and they use and conserve the equipment and the supplies by completing different metal and plaster castings. These professionals often rely on the use of the CAD/CAM units, they make sure the medical equipment is fully functional and they also maintain the supplies inventories.
It is also the duty of the dental laboratory technician to update their knowledge and skills by taking part in different educational opportunities. These professionals must have in-depth knowledge in patient services, in the use of dental technology as well as in customer service, they must have a great attention to detail as well as good verbal and communication skills.
The dental laboratory technicians also trim and pour different denture models, they make porcelain veneers for crowns and implant restorations and they also build and finish the porcelain fused to metal restorations. Once they are done, the dental techs also maintain the lab records and they prepare reports on all the activities of the lab.
How To Become A Dental Technician?
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Becoming a dental laboratory technician certainly takes a lot of skill, patience and determination, and it is important for these professionals to complete three different examinations within a time frame of four years. Simply put, in order to become a dental technician you must firstly pass a written, comprehensive examination followed by a specialty, practical exam. After the four years of training, you will have to specialize in one of the six different subspecialties in the field of dentistry: implants, orthodontics, crowns and bridges, partial and complete dentures as well as ceramics.
At the end of the training session, the students will need to sit for the CDT examination and pass it – the purpose of the CDT exam is to check the mastery of knowledge and the skills of the dental technician, to see if they are suitable for practicing dental technology.
The certified dental technician has several advantages over the dental laboratory technician who has received no certifications whatsoever. Simply put, the certification aims to assess the knowledge and skill level of the dental laboratory technician, and to see if they are suitable for certification.
The CDT (Certified Dental Technician) designation will only be provided if the student has managed to pass all the three examinations. However, it must be said that not all the dental laboratory technicians choose to become certified, as some of them want to become RGs, or Recognized Graduates. The RG examination is typically easier and they can become Certified Dental Technicians later on, if they choose to do so.
Dental Technician Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
Certified dental technicians can enjoy a very rewarding salary not only in the United States of America, but also in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Taking Canada as an example, a dental technician who works here should expect a mean yearly salary between CAD 40,000 and CAD 50,000. At the same time, a certified dental laboratory technician who works in the United Kingdom should expect to earn anywhere between 23,000 and 27,000 pounds, although these professionals often end up earning a lot more than that if they choose to open their own private practices.
Last, but not least, dental technicians who work in Australia usually receive between Au$31,000 and Au$70,000 a year.
Verdict On Dental Technician Salary
To summarize, dental laboratory technicians can pursue a very lucrative career in their chosen field of activity and they can also get a stable job and a rewarding salary. The salary varies greatly depending on the state where they choose to work, but generally speaking these professionals can have a very comfortable life regardless if they choose to work in the US or outside of the States, in Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom. People will always be in need of high-quality dental work, therefore dental technicians can rest assured about that, knowing they can get a high salary while doing what they love most!