Dental Technician Training Programs and Requirements
Dental technicians are responsible for making crowns, dentures and other dental prosthetics. They also use plaster to make impressions and work with orthodontic appliances.
Many dental technicians hold only high school diplomas and receive on-the-job training. Those who want to become officially certified can look into certificate programs. Although not required, many dental technicians complete an associate's degree in the field.
- Program Levels in Dental Technology: Certificate, Associate of Applied Science degree.
- Program Length: 2 years.
- Some Available Program Specializations: Dental anatomy, restorative techniques, orthodontic techniques.
- Online Availability: Some online courses may be available, but hands-on practice is an essential component of training.
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Dental Technology
The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Dental Technology is a 2-year, undergraduate degree program that is designed to prepare students for the workforce. Students may take courses in the following subjects:
- Dental anatomy
- Restorative techniques
- Orthodontic techniques
Dental technicians may receive clinical training during their degree program. The curriculum of most programs includes supervised, hands-on laboratory work. This provides students with the chance to gain practical experience making prosthetics.
Some educational institutions and dental organizations offer workshops for dental technicians and may address recent advancements made in the field, such as newly developed tools or techniques.
Although not required by most states, dental technicians may earn Dental Laboratory Technology National Board certification. This involves passing a specialty written exam, a comprehensive written examination and a specialty practical exam.
Certified dental technicians must complete 12 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification. The Academy of General Dentistry and American Dental Association offer a variety of continuing education courses for dental technicians.