Where Can a DLT Work?
If you become a dental laboratory technician, you’ll work with some of the most high-tech medical equipment and software available today and be part of a growing, in-demand field. That field includes several places where a DLT can work their craft, including a few that most people (and some DLTs) might not normally think of.
Related Resource: A Guide to Dental Prosthetics
Obviously, the most common place for dental laboratory technicians to work is in a dental laboratory. (It is, after all, right there in the name.) Dental laboratories can vary. Some are small operations that employ only a handful of people, and others are larger operations that can have as many as 200 employees.
Dental laboratories can also have different kinds of specialities, some focusing on full dentures, and others mainly making crowns. Still others might work with different kinds of materials. It can take different types of equipment to work with metal or ceramic, and one lab might work exclusively with high-tech porcelain, while another makes the kind of gold teeth your grandparents would have recognized.
Related Resource: Interview With Dental Lab Tech Instructor Peter Shull
Dental offices, hospitals, and academia
Occasionally, large dental offices or hospitals will have on-site facilities to fabricate dental prosthetics. DLTs who work in this type of environment will spend the majority of their time in their own lab, but this also gives them the opportunity to be in contact with other healthcare professionals on a regular basis.
Dental schools and academic institutions (like Ameritech) also employ DLTs. Our DLT instructors all have experience in the field and have put in thousands of hours making prosthetics for patients. They bring their real-world knowledge and experience to the classroom and put it to use training a new generation of dental laboratory technicians.
Related Resource: Dental Laboratory Tools and How to Use Them
DLTs in the military, movies, and elsewhere
Dental laboratory technicians can also work for the military, where they are integrated into a larger research and development infrastructure. On the other end of the spectrum, some DLTs might be self-employed, doing spec or freelance work. These self-employed DLTs could, conceivably, have their own equipment, but more commonly they go from lab to lab or institution to institution, working where they are needed. These DLTs might be specialists who are called upon when a lab needs their specific skill or generalists who can fit themselves into any work environment that needs an extra pair of hands.
Probably one of the most unusual types of work a dental laboratory technician does is to make dental prosthetics for movies. DLTs can create teeth for Hollywood characters, making gleaming white teeth for characters who are supposed to be unrealistically beautiful or using their skills to make teeth that are just too hideous to be real.
Are you ready to craft prosthetics 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.