How to Make a Difference: Dental Laboratory Technician Edition
Unlike nurses, medical assistants, or other healthcare workers who see patients every day, dental laboratory technicians don’t work with the public. DLTs spend much of their time in a lab, doing the careful work of making crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental prosthetics. Since they’re physically removed from those interactions, it can be easy to forget how much DLTs improve patients’ lives. But, if you’re considering becoming a dental laboratory technician, here are a few ways that your work will make a difference in a very real way.
Related resource: What Does a Dental Laboratory Technician Do?
Millions of people need prosthetics
Millions of Americans depend on dental prosthetics daily. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 15 million people in the U.S. have either bridges or crowns. These prosthetics aren’t mass-produced. Bridges and crowns don’t come from an assembly line in a factory staffed by robots. Every single one of those dental prosthetics has be crafted by experts to fit a particular patient. The demand for prosthetics can’t be met by high-tech factories or mechanization. Even with the use of CAD/CAM, 3D printing, or some other high-tech tool, prosthetics still have to be made by experts. Each prosthetic is specific, and it’s made by people who dedicate themselves to a rigorous craft. That is, DLTs.
Related resource: A Day in the Life of a Dental Laboratory Technician
Dental prosthetics improve quality of life
When you make a dental prosthetic, you’re making something that will improve someone’s health and happiness. Every smile and every bite of food will benefit from the presence of that dental prosthetic. What’s more, when people look in the mirror every day, they will still see a face that they recognize. It’s easy to forget about a scar elsewhere on your body, but having something as visible as tooth loss can have mental and physical effects. You’ll help prevent that.
You’ll also be helping patients maintain their natural voice. Having a full set of teeth aides in speech and enunciation. That means that when people cheer or sing or yell out with joy, they’ll be doing so with a voice shaped by your prosthetics, your work.
Related resource: Why Creative People Make Great Dental Lab Technicians
You’ll make a difference for yourself
By becoming a dental laboratory technician, you’ll better your own life. You’ll be part of a growing field that performs necessary, skilled work that directly benefits the lives of others. You’ll also get to use creativity and skills at work to solve a variety of new problems every day. That kind of professional satisfaction and security will make a difference in your own life, ensuring that the first life you change in your healthcare career will be your own.
Do you want to make a difference as a dental lab tech? Take a moment to learn more about Utah’s only accredited dental laboratory technician program, and keep in touch with the Ameritech community on Facebook.