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.
  • 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.
  • Melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.
  • Test appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.
  • Apply porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.
  • Place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.
  • Create a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.
  • Train or supervise other dental technicians or dental laboratory bench workers.
  • Build and shape wax teeth, using small hand instruments and information from observations or dentists' specifications.
  • 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.
  • Rebuild or replace linings, wire sections, or missing teeth to repair dentures.
  • Mold wax over denture setups to form the full contours of artificial gums.
  • Shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools.
  • Prepare wax bite blocks and impression trays for use.
  • Fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Extent Flexibility
The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Dynamic Strength
The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Stamina
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Gross Body Coordination
The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
Gross Body Equilibrium
The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.

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.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Ceramist
Crown and Bridge Dental Lab Technician
Crown and Bridge Technician
Dental Appliance Fixer
Dental Appliance Mechanic
Dental Appliance Repairer
Dental Ceramist
Dental Ceramist Assistant
Dental Equipment Installer and Servicer
Dental Instrument Maker
Dental Laboratory Technician
Dental Laboratory Technician Apprentice
Dental Laboratory Worker
Dental Mechanic
Dental Mold Maker
Dental Technician
Dental Technologist
Denture Contour Wire Specialist
Denture Finisher
Denture Technician
Denture Waxer
Laboratory Technician
Metal Finisher
Model and Dye Person
Orthodontic Band Maker
Orthodontic Technician
Orthodontic Technician Assistant
Partial Design and Survey Technician
Porcelain Technician
Waxer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$17.35 hourly, $36,090 annual.
Employment (2008):
36,790 employees