Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Restorative Dentistry

(formerly Dental Laboratory Technology)

Currently accepting students for Fall 2015

Program brochure & application

Open enrollment begins in the Fall semester

Open Adobe Acrobat PDF file Restorative Dentistry Information Brochure

Open Microsoft Word DOC document Restorative Dentistry Program Application

Open Microsoft Word DOC document Restorative Dentistry Survey Collage i=of pictures for Restorative Dentistry

RESTORATIVE DENTAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY IS BOTH A SCIENCE AND AN ART Since each dental patient's needs are different, the duties of a Restorative Dental Laboratory Technologist are comprehensive and varied. Although dental technologists seldom work directly with patients, except under the direction of a licensed dentist, they are valuable members of the dental care team. They work directly with dentists by following detailed written instructions and using impressions (molds) of the patient's teeth or oral soft tissues to create:

blue Full denture prostheses for patients who are missing all of their teeth
orange Removable partial denture prostheses or fixed bridges for patients who are missing only one or a few teeth
red Dental crowns, which are caps for teeth that are designed to restore their original size and shape
green Veneers of porcelain that enhance the esthetics and function the patient
purple Orthodontic appliances and splints to help straighten and protect the patient’s teeth


RESTORATIVE DENTAL TECHNOLOGISTS work with a variety of materials including waxes, plastics, precious and non-precious metal alloys, stainless steel, a variety of porcelains and composites or polymer glass combinations. Many technologists acquire skill in the use of sophisticated instruments and equipment (for example, CAD CAM) while performing laboratory procedures. It is important for the technician to help create tooth replacements that are both attractive and functional.


Flexibility: Restorative Dental Laboratory Technology is a flexible career offering several opportunities for advancement. Experienced technologists can find well-paid positions in commercial laboratories based on their technical or communication skills, become department heads in larger laboratories where they would have supervisory responsibilities, or potentially own their own laboratory. Dental technologists may also teach dental technology courses in educational programs and apply their knowledge to research, sales and/or marketing of prosthetic materials, instruments and equipment.

Independence: Restorative Dental Laboratory Technologists perform much of their work without close supervision. They often experience the satisfaction that results from taking an entire patient case from start to finish.

Creativity: Restorative Dental Laboratory Technology requires the skill and touch of an artist. Technologists need to be creative when they make dental prostheses.

Security: The services performed by Restorative Dental Technologists will always be needed. With the population growing older, there will be a continued demand for prostheses, which improve these individuals' nutrition, appearance and ability to speak clearly.

Personal fulfillment: Restorative Dental Technologists experience the satisfaction that they help to provide a valued health care service and positively affecting patients' oral health and self image. Technologists play a significant role in the delivery of dental health care and take pride from producing a handcrafted product.


With advancements in technology and materials, there is an increased demand for restorative and cosmetic dentistry. As a result, there currently is a great demand for Restorative Dental Laboratory Technologists. The American Dental Association states that, "employment opportunities will be excellent well into the next century".

Most Restorative Dental Laboratory Technologists work in commercial dental laboratories employing from 2 to 200 people. The average laboratory employs about five to ten people who may provide a full range of dental prosthetic services, or specialize in producing one particular type of prosthesis (e.g., removable partial dentures, crown and bridge, etc).

Additionally, some opportunities are available in private dental offices for technologists who like close one-on-one contact with a dentist and the patient. Employment opportunities also may be available in dental schools, hospitals and companies that manufacture dental prosthetic materials. Dental Laboratory Technology education programs also offer teaching positions for experienced technicians.


The salary of a Restorative Dental Laboratory Technologist depends primarily upon the skills demonstrated and responsibilities associated with the specific position and the geographic location of employment. According to the American Dental Association, “Dental Technologists can earn salaries equal to personnel in other health care professions with similar training and experience. Experienced technologists can realize significant satisfaction and rewards in commercial laboratories or may choose to be self-employed, opening their own dental laboratories for greater independence."


The Restorative Dentistry Program at PCC has a strong history of providing students with the highest possible training at the lowest possible cost. Highlights of the Program include:

blue State-of-the-art equipment
orange Individualized, hands-on instruction
red Modern facilities at PCC and at participating local dental laboratories
green Professional, experienced, people-oriented instructors who are fully certified and credentialed
purple Full accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA)