What does a Dental Technician do?

A dental technician, also known as a dental lab technician, fabricates dental pieces such as bridges, veneers and crowns that address common dental problems. They are usually employed in healthcare facilities or commercial dental laboratories with five to nine or more employees. Their work is very tactile, involving both technology and artistry, and it falls into two categories—orthodontics and restorative dentistry.

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Working as a Dental Technician

As a dental technician, you will typically have the following duties:

  • Read specifications and examine models and molds.
  • Fill models with porcelain or molten metal.
  • Polish finished dental devices.
  • Test dental devices to determine if they meet specifications.
  • Repair broken dental devices.
  • Create plaster molds.
  • Maintain dental laboratory records.
  • Prepare reports on laboratory activities.
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How much does a Dental Technician make in the United States?

1.6k salaries reported, updated at January 24, 2022
$73,685
per year

The average salary for a dental technician is $73,685 per year in the United States.

Most common benefits

  • Paid time off
  • Relocation assistance
  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) matching
  • 401(k)
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Where can a Dental Technician earn more?

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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about being a Dental Technician

What soft skills do I need to succeed in this career?

Some of the soft skills or personal qualities you need to succeed in this career include:

  • Manual dexterity
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication and listening skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Interpersonal skills
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What is the job outlook for dental technicians?

This career has an excellent job outlook. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of dental technicians to increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As dental prosthetics like crowns and veneers become less expensive, it's expected that there will be an increase in demand for them.

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What is a dental technician's typical work environment?

Dental technicians typically work full time, 40 hours per week. They generally work in clean, well-ventilated and well-lighted areas. They usually have their own workbenches, which can be equipped with electric waxers or Bunsen burners, hand instruments such as carvers and spatulas and grinding and polishing equipment. They also work with printing equipment, scanners and milling and computer design software.

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What are the advancement opportunities for dental technicians?

What are the specialties a dental technician can pursue?