Dental technicians fill orders for dental prosthetics, including dentures, bridges, crowns, veneers and inlays. They create models of patients' mouths from physical and sometimes computerized molds. Models are created with plaster, wax, porcelain, metal and hand tools. The model is then placed into a porcelain oven to seal it to the metal framework that holds it together. Dental technicians match the color and shape of the model to the patient's teeth. Porcelain is added to the final product to give the model a finished look.
Dental technicians in large laboratories may specialize in one or two aspects of dental prosthetics. Those with several years of experience or advanced training may take on a supervisory role. Some dental technicians work in sales, marketing, product development or education.
Dental technicians can specialize in one area, such as ceramics, dentures, orthodontic appliances and crowns and bridges. Those who specialize earn the title Certified Dental Technician (CDT). The National Board for Certification in Dental Technology administers the certification exam.