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Dental Laboratory Technicians


Dental laboratory technicians, also called dental technicians, are skilled craftspeople who make and repair dental appliances, such as dentures, inlays, bridges, crowns, and braces, according to dentists' written prescriptions. They work with plastics, ceramics, and metals, using models made from impressions taken by the dentist of a patient's mouth or teeth. A growing number of technicians use computer programs or three-dimensional printers to create appliances. Some dental laboratory technicians, especially those who work for smaller dental laboratories, perform the whole range of laboratory activities, while many others specialize in only one area. Some specialties include making orthodontic appliances, such as braces for straightening teeth; applying layers of porcelain paste or acrylic resin over a metal framework to form crowns, bridges, and tooth facings; making and repairing wire frames and retainers for teeth used in partial dentures; and making and repairing full and partial dentures. Job titles often reflect a specialization. For example, technicians who make porcelain restorations are dental ceramicists. There are approximately 36,500 dental laboratory technicians of all types working in the United States.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Some Postsecondary Training




Much Faster than the Average
Personality Traits

Hands On



Career Ladder
Dental Laboratory Owner

Dental Laboratory Supervisor

Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental Laboratory Assistant

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