Dental Lab: Why It’s Important

Almost everyone knows someone with a crown, dentures, orthodontics or tooth implants. What most people don’t know is that all of these dental appliances are crafted in a dental lab, not in their dentist’s office. Lab technicians follow your dentist’s prescription to create the prosthetic you need. While your dentist makes the mold of your teeth, the lab technicians are responsible for crafting the piece to fit your mouth and even match color to your surrounding teeth.
Dab services include creating veneers for cosmetic dentistry, crowns for root canals, bridges to replace missing teeth, orthodontia, and dental implants. Appliances to prevent tooth grinding, snoring, sleep apnea,a and even retainers are also crafted in the lab. Braces used to straighten crooked teeth are made by lab technicians, according to the orthodontist’s specifications. Technicians typically have a two-year Associate’s Degree or four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Technology. Some technicians specialize in a specific area, such as ceramics, full dentures, crowns and bridges, partial dentures, or orthodontic appliances. They must study the science of dental materials, oral anatomy, procedures of fabrication, infection control, and business practices. Some technicians receive all of their training on the job.
Not only do lab technicians have to learn the theory of their profession, but they must have on-the-job training in the fabrication of oral appliances. Crafting a bridge, for example, involves several steps and processes. The technician must create a model from the dentist-provided impressions, build and shape a model of the bridge to fit the patient’s mouth, form the metal framework of the appliance, prepare the metal framework to accept ceramic overlay, apply porcelain to build the teeth to the dentist’s specifications, color the replacement teeth to match the patient’s existing teeth, and finally polish and grind the appliance to fit the exact specifications required to ensure a perfect fit in the patient’s mouth. Partial and full dentures follow the same procedures, with some differences using the shape of the patient’s gums as a model to ensure a snug fit.
All dental labs and technicians must adhere to the FDA’s good manufacturing practices and quality system requirements. Because of the nature of the products as medical devices, lab technicians also must adhere to strict hygiene guidelines for patient safety. Most dental labs are certified by Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Best Toothbrush 2019 Scheme, or DAMAS, and by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. There are a variety of organizations that offer certifications to technicians, as the requirements vary by state. The American Dental Association has launched a certification program available nationwide in both theory and practical competency.
The next time you go to the dentist, remember the people behind the scenes at the lab, who create the prosthetics used Dental Tips And Tricks to perfect your smile. It takes knowledge, practice, and a little bit of artistry to guarantee your smile shines.

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