2-year dental technician certificate programs can help students gain training and experience that could be useful when seeking employment. Dental technicians create, size and fit dental apparatuses, including dentures, crowns and prosthetics.
Some dental technicians choose to specialize in a particular area of the field, such as crowns, prosthetics or ceramics. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for students who seek program entry.
Dental Technician Certification Programs
Dental laboratory technology certificate programs give students the skills necessary to become an integral part of a dental team. During the program students will complete science and mathematics courses. Successful completion of machining courses is essential to program success. Courses in business and management may also be helpful for those who wish to run their own dental lab technology business. Common courses include:
- Dental materials
- Dental anatomy
- Dental morphology
- Dental prosthetics
- Dental ceramics
- Polishing and restoration
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates may gain employment with medical supply companies, as well as in private or public dental clinics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 11% job growth is expected for dental laboratory technicians from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that their median annual salary was $40,440 in 2018.
Only three states require dental technicians to obtain certification, while certification remains voluntary in all other cases. For those that seek certification, the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology offers the Certified Dental Technician (CDT) designation. This certification requires passing a combination of exams. The CDT designation also requires the completion of 12 hours of continuing education every year in order to maintain certification over time.
Dental technician certificate programs train students in the various roles that technicians can take, including business and the practical elements of dentistry. Although most states do not require dental technicians to obtain certification, doing so may give individuals an edge in the job market.