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How did I get into Dental Technology?

Kate, Dental Technology | Originally Published: 1/22/2018

Here’s the background about how I discovered this field!

When most people think of the dental field, the first profession that comes to mind is a dentist. This is usually followed by a dental hygienist and/or dental assistant.

No one really thinks about how dental prosthetics are made – but that’s because very few people know that each one is custom made for every patient!

So, how did I end up studying dental technology?

I initially thought I wanted to attend dental school. I was taking the pre-requisite classes at UCLA in the evenings and do administration for a prosthodontist during the day.

After working there for about a year, I knew I absolutely loved the dental field. I loved seeing patients before and after their restorations, the change in their smile and overall confidence. The correction of one tooth or an entire arch was incredible. The restoration of function and aesthetics combined was life-changing for many people who visited the office.

While I wasn’t directly working on the patient’s teeth to create and/or restore their smiles, I found the entire process fascinating. I also realized while I loved dentistry, I wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be working on teeth attached to a living person. I feel it takes a very special individual to hold the responsibility of another person’s smile quite literally in their hands. So I was feeling a little stuck.

However, one of the wonderful things about working for a dentist is how much exposure you get to all the different areas of the dental field. And this is how I discovered dental technology.

When our office would send out a case to a lab, I was responsible for logging the case into our computer system. I noted the tooth/teeth numbers, type of restoration, what lab it was being sent to, the due date, etc). When the cases were returned, I would observe them for any obvious defects.

I was constantly captivated by how much detail such a tiny item could have and how much of a difference it could make for someone. Each and every case that was sent out and returned was unique. I had minimal understanding of how each tiny prosthetic was made, but I was definitely intrigued.

I decided to ask one of the owners from a lab that my office used frequently – and it turned out he is an alumnus of LACC’s Dental Technology program!

Next thing I knew, I was enrolled in the prerequisite classes in Fall 2016.

So that’s how I found this field! And I could not be more grateful to find it. It is exactly what I had been looking for the whole time. It’s hands on, practical, artistic, and I get to help people.

What more could you ask for out of an education and future career?!

About The Author

Kate is a Senior Dental Prosthodontics Technology student. She is currently working towards earning her A.S. degree. Kate discovered this field while working for a dentist in Beverly Hills. In her free time, she likes to cook, bake, travel, be outdoors, draw, knit, and things of the sort.