Career summary

Details for Dental Laboratory Technicians


Description

Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Tasks

  • Read prescriptions or specifications and examine models or impressions to determine the design of dental products to be constructed.
  • Test appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.
  • Melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.
  • Create a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.
  • Place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.
  • Fabricate, alter, or repair dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.
  • Remove excess metal or porcelain and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines.
  • Apply porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.
  • Prepare metal surfaces for bonding with porcelain to create artificial teeth, using small hand tools.
  • Load newly constructed teeth into porcelain furnaces to bake the porcelain onto the metal framework.
  • Build and shape wax teeth, using small hand instruments and information from observations or dentists' specifications.
  • Mold wax over denture setups to form the full contours of artificial gums.
  • Rebuild or replace linings, wire sections, or missing teeth to repair dentures.
  • Prepare wax bite blocks and impression trays for use.
  • Train or supervise other dental technicians or dental laboratory bench workers.
  • Shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools.
  • Fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • 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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

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