DEPARTMENT OF RESTORATIVE DENTISTRY
Restorative Dental Technology Program
(formerly Dental Laboratory Technology Program )
LINKS TO DETAILED PROGRAM INFORMATION AND APPLICATION FORMS:
Restorative Dental Technology Information Packet/Brochure
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RESTORATIVE DENTAL TECHNOLOGY IS BOTH A SCIENCE AND AN ART Since each dental patient's needs are different, the duties of a Restorative Dental Technologist are comprehensive and varied. Although Restorative Dental Technologists seldom work directly with patients, except under the direction of a licensed dentist, they are valuable members of the oral health care team. They work directly with dentists by following the doctor's detailed written instructions and using impressions (molds) of the patient's teeth and/or oral soft tissues to create:
|Full denture prostheses for patients who are missing all of their teeth|
|Removable partial denture prostheses or fixed dental bridges for patients who are missing only one or a few teeth|
|Dental crowns, which are caps for teeth and are designed to restore their original size and shape|
|Veneers of porcelain that enhance the esthetics and function of natural teeth|
|Orthodontic appliances and splints to help straighten and protect teeth|
RESTORATIVE DENTAL TECHNOLOGISTS work with a variety of materials; for example, waxes, plastics, zirconia, various metal alloys, stainless steel wires and bands, a variety of porcelains (feldspathic and lithium disilicate), flexible resins, and composites or polymer glass combinations. Many technologists acquire skill in the use of sophisticated instruments and equipment; for example, Computer-Aided- Design CAD and Computer-Aided-Manufacture CAM) as well as compterized furnaces and induction casting equpiment while performing laboratory procedures. It is important for the Restorative Dental Technologist to design and create dental prosthetics (tooth replacements) that are both attractive and meet rigorous functional requirements.
Flexibility: Restorative Dental Technology is a flexible career offering several opportunities for advancement. Experienced technologists can find well-paid positions in commercial laboratories based on their technical and/or communication skills, become department supervisors in larger laboratories, or potentially own their own laboratory business. 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 fabricating an entire patient case from start to finish.
Creativity: Restorative Dental Technology requires the skill and touch of an artist. Technologists need to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills and be creative when they faricate 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 dental 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 dentistry. As a result, there is currently a great demand for Restorative Dental Technologists, particulatly those with digital skill sets and the abiity to work with dental prosthetics for dental implants.. The American Dental Association states that, "employment opportunities will be excellent well into the next century".
Most Restorative Dental 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 dental prosthesis (e.g., removable partial dentures, complete dentures, ceramic crowns, orthodontic appiances, implants, and more.)
Additionally, some opportunities are available in private dental offices for technologists who prefer 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 technology education programs also employ experienced dental technologists.
The salary of a Restorative Dental Technologist depends primarily upon the skills 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 professionals 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."
WHAT DOES PCC OFFER?
The Restorative Dental Technology Program at PCC has a strong history of providing students with the best possible education at a modest and resonable cost. Highlights of the Program include:
|State-of-the-art laboratory equipment|
|Individualized, hands-on instruction|
|Modern inviting facilities at PCC and at participating local dental laboratories|
|Professional, experienced, student-oriented professors and instructors who are fully certified and credentialed|
Progressive curriculum offering a sound fundamental education in Restorative Dental Technology
LINKS TO ACCREDITATIONS:
- Pasadena City College Institutional Accreditation
- American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)
LINKS TO INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM AND POLICIES:
The programs in dental assisting, dental hygiene and dental laboratory technology are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [an have been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements, respectively". The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditaion can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611.