Dental Laboratory Technology
Dental laboratory technicians possess the skills, competencies and knowledge that is invaluable to the practice of modern dentistry. Through the unique Dental Laboratory Technology Program situated at the well equipped laboratories at the SUNY Erie South Campus, students are instructed in all aspects of dental laboratory technology. Opportunities are available for second-year students to work with doctors in private practice, at hospitals and at commercial dental laboratories as they prepare to join the profession and the oral health team.
The goal of the Dental Laboratory Technology Program is to train students to be capable of the design, fabrication and production of dental prostheses, including full and partial dentures, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances. New state-of-the-art techniques, equipment and materials are emphasized, i.e. implantology, cosmetic dentistry and CAD/CAM technology.
The curriculum, offered on a full-time basis during the day, highlights coursework in anatomy, physiology, occlusion, biomedical materials, dental metallurgy, dental prostheses, ceramics technology and computer assisted design. Classroom learning is supplemented with laboratory experiences in our well equipped laboratories at the college, as well as at local hospitals and commercial laboratories.
The Dental Laboratory Technology laboratories at the South Campus have been designed to accommodate students confined to wheelchairs.
Employment opportunities are available in commercial dental laboratories, private dental practices, hospitals, public dental health facilities, manufacturers of dental supplies, materials and equipment and in research facilities and educational institutions. Our graduates are employed in various types of positions: research and development for large manufacturing companies; quality control; technicians working at the bench; and lecturers and demonstrators. Several are on the faculty of dental and/or dental laboratory schools; some are denturists in Canada and in the several states in the U.S. that license denturism; and some open their own laboratories. Several graduates have gone on to dental school. SUNY Erie also has a transfer articulation agreement with Canisius College. Students who complete all the required courses in the Dental Laboratory Technology program and who use their SUNY Erie electives as advised can earn a B.S. in Professional & Technical Studies degree at Canisius.
The National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology's (NBC) Recognized Graduate (RG) Examination is offered to students during the fourth semester of the program. SUNY Erie students traditionally exhibit one of the highest overall averages in the nation. SUNY Erie's South Campus is also a site for the NBC's Certified Dental Technician (CDT) examinations.
High school biology and/or chemistry
Good manual dexterity, color perception and an aptitude for detail
Applicants should have a high school diploma or HSE (High School Equivalency). Some of the attributes of a successful dental lab technician are good manual dexterity, color perception and an aptitude for detail. While most states set no minimum qualifications for dental lab technicians, some states require technicians to be certified by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology. A conviction for the illegal practice of dentistry will prevent a person from becoming certified. Students are required to purchase a dental tool kit at the approximate cost of $550. Students must also provide their own protective eyewear that meets industry standards.
Required liberal arts and science courses are available at all three campuses, evenings and summers. Dental Laboratory Technology courses are offered at South Campus. Although most students begin in September, a limited number are accepted in January as part of the extended curriculum option.
While most states set no minimum qualifications for dental lab technicians, some states require technicians to be certified by the National Board for Licensure in Dental Laboratory Technology. A conviction for the illegal practice of dentistry will prevent a person from becoming certified.
The program in Dental Laboratory Technology is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678. The Commission's web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda.
SUNY Erie's program is one of only thirteen Dental Laboratory Technology programs that have this status.