Dental Laboratory Technology is both a science and an art. Since each dental patient's needs are different, the duties of a dental laboratory technician are comprehensive and varied. Although dental technicians seldom work directly with patients, except under the direction of a licensed dentist, they are valuable members of the dental care team. They work directly with dentists by following detailed written instructions and using impressions (molds) of the patient's teeth or oral soft tissues to create:
*full dentures for patients who are missing all of their teeth
*removable partial dentures or fixed bridges for patients who are missing only one or a few teeth
*crowns, which are caps for teeth that are designed to restore their original size and shape
*veneers that enhance the esthetics and function of the patient
*orthodontic appliances and splints to help straighten and protect teeth
Dental technicians work with a variety of materials including waxes, plastics, precious and non-precious alloys, stainless steel, a variety of porcelains and composites or polymer glass combinations. Many technicians acquire skill in the use of sophisticated instruments and equipment while performing laboratory procedures. It is important for the technician to help create tooth replacements that are both attractive and functional.
If you are really interested in knowing more about dental lab technology and have a few minutes to spare, watch this video from the industry leader.