Dental Laboratory Technicians

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About the Job

Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

It is also Called

  • Waxer
  • Porcelain Technician
  • Porcelain Finisher
  • Orthodontic Technician Assistant
  • Orthodontic Technician
  • Orthodontic Laboratory Technician (Orthodontic Lab Technician)
  • Orthodontic Band Maker
  • Model Technician
  • Model and Dye Person
  • Metal Room Dental Technician
View All

What They Do

  • Fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins.
  • Shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools.
  • Train or supervise other dental technicians or dental laboratory bench workers.
  • Prepare wax bite blocks and impression trays for use.
  • Rebuild or replace linings, wire sections, or missing teeth to repair dentures.
  • Mold wax over denture setups to form the full contours of artificial gums.
  • Build and shape wax teeth, using small hand instruments and information from observations or dentists' specifications.
  • Load newly constructed teeth into porcelain furnaces to bake the porcelain onto the metal framework.
  • Prepare metal surfaces for bonding with porcelain to create artificial teeth, using small hand tools.
  • Apply porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Preparation Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $40,820 with most people making between $22,400 and $61,270

Outlook

1.76%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 5,100 people in California. It is projected that there will be 6,000 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 90 openings due to growth and about 130 replacement openings for approximately 220 total annual openings.