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Gamers Wanted: Why You Should Consider a Career as a DLT


Being a DLT means you have to build to precise outcomes, use specialized tools, and optimize — just like a gamer does.

Being a dental laboratory technician (or DLT) means you have a specialized, varied career. DLTs do their work with a mixture of creativity, artistic talent, and engineering. The amount of skills that DLTs employ every day, whether it’s forming a crown from a dental mold or polishing a bridge, crosses over with a lot of other specialized hobbies and professions.

DLTs can readily be compared to jewelers setting stones, fly fishers making lures, or sculptors polishing a statue. Or gamers. Plenty of skills cultivated by the average video game hobbyist will also come in handy for the DLT.

Related resource: How to Make a Difference: Dental Laboratory Technician Edition

Gamers can build to precise outcomes

Gamers are often used to solving very precise problems. Puzzle games, for instance, generally have only one answer to a given problem, and it’s up to the player to find out how to get to that one goal and ending. Likewise, strategy and fighting games are often precisely balanced so certain moves or combos also have specific, precise counters that are the optimal thing to do in a given situation.

Those skills for knowing and working toward precise solutions will serve you well as a dental laboratory technician. Every day you’ll be presented with problems that have a given solution you have to build to. Making crowns and bridges is far more complex than lining up “Tetris” blocks, but the same principles apply.

Related resource: Why Creative People Make Great Dental Lab Technicians

Gamers take tools in hand

Gaming is a skill. Like playing a musical instrument, it demands that certain hand movements become second nature and intuitive. For gamers, a controller, keyboard, or mouse becomes an extension of themselves. That’s how any good artisan feels when they pick up their tools. A carpenter, a chef, an electrician: All of them can use their tools deftly and well.

Gaming is a hobby that has brought skilled tool use to a large population, and now being able to use specialty precision equipment is comparably common. This bodes well for a new generation of DLTs. Dental laboratory technicians take specialty equipment in hand every single shift, and being able to use tools with confidence and skill is essential for succeeding at the job. Fortunately, many contemporary dental lab techs have been doing exactly that ever since they first learned how to make Mario run and jump.

Related resource: Dental Laboratory Tools and How to Use Them

Gamers love optimization

Any gamer who’s played “World of Warcraft” or other RPGs is familiar with juggling a wide range of competing and complementary character statistics. When you’re building a character, you have to allocate scarce resources for maximum effectiveness, make decisions on what skills to use, and choose what gear will complement the build you’ve chosen. Optimization isn’t just an RPG numbers game, though.

In other genres, dedicated gamers also take into account factors such as the frame rates for individual animations, or even the pixel size of given in-game features so they can exploit every available avenue for maximum effectiveness.

This approach to and love of optimization (especially when you’re dealing with finite resources like time, tools, or materials) will serve you well inside a dental laboratory. Making decisions about what should go where, what order to do things in, how best to manage available resources, and many more game-based optimization skills serve DLTs well every single day.

If you’re a gamer (or another type of hobbyist) who wants to become a dental lab tech, take a moment to learn more about Utah’s only accredited dental laboratory technician program. We also encourage you to keep in touch with the Ameritech community on Facebook.