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Dental Laboratory Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Constructs and repairs full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reads prescriptions or specifications and examines models or impressions to determine the design of dental products to be constructed.
  • Tests appliances for conformance to specifications and accuracy of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers.
  • Melts metals or mixes plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes and pours materials into molds or over frameworks to form dental prostheses or apparatus.
  • Creates a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set.
  • Places tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to evaluate functionality of model.
  • Fabricates, alters, or repairs dental devices, such as dentures, crowns, bridges, inlays, or appliances for straightening teeth.
  • Removes excess metal or porcelain and polishes surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines.
  • Applies porcelain paste or wax over prosthesis frameworks or setups, using brushes and spatulas.
  • Prepares metal surfaces for bonding with porcelain to create artificial teeth, using small hand tools.
  • Loads newly constructed teeth into porcelain furnaces to bake the porcelain onto the metal framework.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Dental Appliance Repairer --