The dental field has long been one of the best fields to get into. It offers a great salary, a nice work environment and a great job to wake up to every day. There are many types of jobs that you can choose from within this field. A career as a dental technician offers all of these benefits and more.
As a dental technician your main job is to manufacture and produce dentures and other types of dental prosthetics for dentists to fit their patients with. As a dental technician, you will be working closely with dentists and other technicians. When a patient comes in and gets impressions or molds taken at the dentists office, they are sent to the lab where a dental tech will mix, mold and wait for the prosthetics to dry. They are then sent back to the dentist so that the patient can be fitted for the device. Other tasks may include molding, sculpting and carving teeth and gums for use in replacement of one or more teeth. As a dental technician you will be working with other techs and dentists but you generally will not come into contact with the actual patient, unless the dentist requires an outside person to do the initial impression. As a dental technician you will primarily be working in a lab although some dentists may require you to take x-rays and teeth impressions yourself.
Dental Technician Salary:
The dental technician salary is one that is very lucrative. The current national average for the dental technician salary is about $38,000 per year. This amount will vary depending on several factors including location, experience and education. Experience is very important when it comes to the amount of the dental technician income. This is one of the first things that all employers look at. The starting dental technician wage is about $21,000 per year. The dental technician salary will increase with more experience. Once you reach five years of experience your dental technician salary will increase to $27,000 a year. At ten years of experience in the field, you will be able to make a nice salary of around $35,000 a year. As long as you keep working in the field and gaining more experience your dental technician salary will keep increasing. With fifteen years of experience the dental tech wage will increase to $46,000 per year. The best salary will come to you once you have twenty years or more under your belt. At this level of experience you will make a salary of $59,000 a year. This is one of the top levels of experience and salary that you can obtain.
Dental Technician Education:
If you want to become a dental technician is it possible that you can get hired on without any formal education as many labs will hire you and train you themselves. However, many labs these days are looking for formally trained technicians that have a degree and some experience working in a lab environment. There are several programs to choose from including certificates and degrees from technical and vocational schools. This can take from nine months to two years to complete. All courses will teach the student all the processes they need to know to be successful in this career. Courses will include prosthetics, dental anatomy, ceramics and denture making. Once you graduate, you may decide to become certified by the NBCCERT although it is not required it looks great to future employers and can even get you a higher than average salary.
Dental Technician Work Environment:
As a dental technician you will do the majority of all of your work within a well-lit laboratory. Generally, you will work within a small group and will not see patients at all. Although some labs are hired to take the actual impressions for dentists. It will depend on the lab that you work for. As a dental technician you will also have to take several precautions when creating the prosthetics. Several types of safety and protective gear will be required. This can include wearing gloves, goggles and masks. The environment is typical very clean and quiet. You may have your own station or you may have to share a station with one or more co-workers depending on the set up of the lab.
It is the job of a dental technician to ensure that all prosthetics are made to fit according to the doctor’s orders and to the impressions that are taken. It is very important that you follow all safety guidelines and rules so that the prosthetics you make are made well and will provide the patient with the security of a great smile. You will need to pay attention, be careful and make sure that all guidelines and regulations are met. You will also need great communication and team skills in order to perform well at this job.