WHAT IS DENTAL TECHNOLOGY?
The Dental Laboratory Technologist is both a scientist and an artist due to technological and esthetic components of this unique profession.
The field requires a degree of manual dexterity, good artistic sense and the ability to understand and interpret the dental prescription.
The dental laboratory technologist designs, constructs and repairs all types of dental prosthetic appliances according to the dentist's prescription and provides an essential support service for the dental profession.
Dental Laboratory Technologists work with a number of different materials and are required to know how to use dental instruments and equipment.
Today, most dental technologists are employed in commercial dental laboratories which provide services to a number of different dentists.
Commercial laboratories vary in size from 2 to over 800 employees and some a few thousand employees.
Some of the private dental offices have their own in-house laboratories usually with one or two technologists providing the laboratory work for just the dentist(s) practicing in the office.
Various government and private hospitals as well as companies that manufacture dental materials will also provide training and employment for a number of dental technologists.
Experienced technologists may find various teaching positions in schools specializing in dental laboratory technology education.
Currently there is a great demand for dental laboratory technologists. The National Institute of Business Management identified Dental Technology as the 3rd fastest growing profession in the United States. A Newsday survey placed it 2nd in New York State. the United States Occupational Handbook listed it as growing much faster than the national average.
Based on advertised salaries, a skilled technician employed in a quality-oriented laboratory presently might expect to earn annually in the $40,000-$70,000 range.
A laboratory owner’s earnings will depend largely on the clientele he/she decides to serve, and more importantly, on his or her financial management skills.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, the average wage for a Dental Laboratory Technician is between $11.00 and $20.00 per hour.