Students wishing to become dental technicians in the United States can train at two-year programs at a number of schools, and upon successful completion of the curriculum will receive either an associate's degree or certification. The American Dental Association (ADA) accredits more than 20 dental technology programs, although there are more programs not accredited by the ADA. A dental technician, also called a dental laboratory technician, uses molds of teeth to produce crowns, braces, veneers, and dentures. They can practice in dental labs, private dental offices, hospitals, and dental schools.
Pima County Community College – Arizona
Students can earn a dental ceramics technologist certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in dental laboratory technology at Pima County Community College in Tuscon, Arizona. Courses include dental morphology, laboratory management, and dental ceramics. Students can go on to specialize in other dental lab procedures such as fixed bridgework, complete dentures and partial dentures.
Pima County Community College 2202 West Anklam Road Tucson, AZ 85709-0080 520-206-6916 pima.edu/program/dental/index.shtml
Los Angeles City College
Los Angeles City College offers an Associate of Science degree and a certificate in dental laboratory technology. The college says its curriculum is designed to help students become a dental technician in a commercial dental lab or dental office lab. In addition, trained dental technicians can earn “master ceramist” and “advanced prosthodontic, implant and maxillofacial” certificates at this school.
Los Angeles City College 855 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90029 323-953-4000 ext. 2502 catalog.lacitycollege.edu/pages/dental%20tech.htm
Idaho State University College of Technology
Idaho State University’s College of Technology in Pocatello offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in dental laboratory technology, training students to be “involved with the fabrication of dental restorations, corrective appliances, or any device the licensed dentist might place in the mouth of a patient,” its web site says.
Idaho State University College of Technology Dental Laboratory Technology Program 921 S. 8th Ave., Stop 8380 Pocatello, ID 83209-8380 208-282-2622 isu.edu/ctech/dental_tech/index.shtml
Indian River State College
Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Florida, emphasizes dental lab skills with one-third classroom learning and two-thirds lab practices, according to irsc.edu. They learn to construct bridges, crowns and orthodontic appliances according to dentist specifications.
Indian River State College 3209 Virginia Ave. Ft. Pierce, FL 34981 772-462-7527 irsc.edu/portal/layout_web1.aspx?AdminEdit=False&PortalPageID=240
Durham Technical Community College – North Carolina
Durham Technical Community College in Durham, North Carolina, offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in dental laboratory technology. Its website says its technicians learn to use materials such as waxes, acrylics, gypsum, ceramics and metals to construct dentures, bridges, crowns and other dental appliances. The college also has advanced certificates in techniques such as partial denture, crown and bridge, and dental ceramics.
Durham Technical Community College 1637 Lawson St. Durham, NC 27703 919-536-7233, ext. 8128 durhamtech.edu/html/prospective/programsofstudy/dlt.htm
Bates Technical College - Washington
The program for prospective dental lab technicians at Tacoma’s Bates Technical College includes hands-on training in orthodontics, crowns, dentures, porcelain work and bridges. Students can earn either an Associate of Technology degree or a Certificate of Competency, says bates.ctc.edu.
Bates Technical College 1101 S. Yakima Ave. Tacoma, WA 98405 253-680-7000 bates.ctc.edu/dentallab/
Kirsten Sorenson has been an online, print and television reporter, and a columnist since 1994. Her work has appeared in the "Washington Post," "Parade Magazine," the "Arizona Republic," the "Cincinnati Enquirer," KSL Television, Associated Press and the "Deseret News." Her areas of expertise include health and medicine, education and parenting. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.