A post-secondary education is not required for dental laboratory technicians, since many learn on the job. However, Texas-based students can find formal dental laboratory sciences and dental laboratory technology programs at the post-secondary level. Students might take part in laboratory sessions, internships, seminars, and practicum experiences that allow them to develop hands-on skills. Some programs feature online learning opportunities.
There are currently two Texas colleges that offer relevant certificate programs. Short overviews of these schools can be found below, as well as a comparison table with individual school offerings and tuition information at a glance.
Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf
Located in Big Spring, the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf has a 37-credit hour certificate program in dental laboratory technology designed to prepare graduates for employment. The program, offered through the Howard College of Career Technical Education & Health Professions, requires four to five semesters of coursework, and students gain the necessary skills to assemble false teeth, construct crowns and bridges, build dentures, and create prosthetic devices. Prerequisite courses in English and math are required.
Texas State Technical College
This Harlingen school administers a certificate program that takes about 12 months to complete. The program features dental technology coursework, and before being admitted, students are tested in manual dexterity and use of tools.
Participants learn to construct dentures, bridges, crowns, and orthodontic appliances. They gain experience working with a variety of materials, including plaster, metal alloys, porcelain, special wires, acrylics, and wax. Specific course topics include dental anatomy and tooth morphology, fixed restorative techniques, dental ceramics, math, and human relations. Graduates are qualified for employment at dental clinics and laboratories.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Dental Technology Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf||Two-year, public; remote town||Certificate Level 1 in Dental Laboratory Technology|| $2,560 in-district
|Texas State Technical College Harlingen||Two-year, public; small city||Dental Laboratory Certificate|| $5,570 in-state
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics