Common Dental Lab Technician Courses
The course overviews below detail some of the commonly offered online dental lab technician courses.
- Dental Materials Course: In this course, students gain an understanding of the various chemicals, metals and other materials used by dental technicians in creating prosthetics. Specific materials include metals, porcelain and resins.
- Dental Anatomy and Physiology Course: This foundational course teaches students about the anatomy of the human body in relation to dental lab skills, emphasizing the head, neck and teeth. Lab work demonstrating the fabrication and duplication processes is often part of this type of course.
- Complete Dentures Course: Here students learn about the construction of complete dentures, which can replace an entire row of teeth. This type of course takes place mainly in the laboratory and consists of observation, demonstration and supervised practice.
- Removable Partial Dentures Course: This course teaches students how to properly design, construct and repair removable partial dentures. A mix of class and lab work explains how to produce casts and construct metal frameworks for dentures.
- Orthodontic and Pedodontic Prosthetics Course: Fixed and removable fabrications used in bite adjustment and child dental care are taught in this advanced course. Students are also taught how to repair orthodontic appliances.
- Ceramics Course: Students in this upper-level course learn how to create porcelain fused to metal (PFM) and ceramic restorations using ceramic alloy and other techniques. Other topics of study include metal substructures and ceramic firing.
- Veneer Placement Course: In this course students learn the proper procedures for fitting, treating and placing porcelain veneers on patients. Students will study methods and technology for both prep and no-prep veneers.
- Maxillofacial Prosthesis Course: Covers the tools and methods used in maxillofacial prosthodontics. Students learn about maxillary obturators, overlay appliances, facial prostheses, pharyngeal speech aids and radiation applicators.
- Dental Implantology Course: Students examine every step of the process of dental implantation design and implantation. Topics of study include materials selection, surgical procedures, cost, aesthetics, stent fabrication, implant repairs and different types of restorations.
Dental lab technician courses are typically part of training programs that result in a certificate or an associate's degree in dental laboratory technology. These programs may prepare graduates to take the certification exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC). The exam is offered with a selection of specializations leading to different job titles for a dental lab technician, including dental ceramist, denture technician and porcelain technician. Due to the precise, hands-on nature of a dental lab technician's work, practical lab work using various tools and materials is an important component of education programs. For this reason, some dental lab tech courses may only be offered on campus, or they may involve a mixture of online and in-class study. Schools may offer a selection of local sites from which to complete lab work.
Although fully online training programs for dental techs are not available, there are relevant on-campus programs that cover the techniques and technologies used in the field.