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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Laboratory Technicians in Clarksville, Tennessee

For those living in the Clarksville, Tennessee area, there are many career and education opportunities for dental laboratory technicians. There are currently 660 working dental laboratory technicians in Tennessee; this should grow by 20% to 790 working dental laboratory technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental laboratory technicians are expected to grow by about 13.9%. Dental laboratory technicians generally construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Dental laboratory technicians earn approximately $15 hourly or $31,520 yearly on average in Tennessee. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,170 yearly. Dental laboratory technicians earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental generally in Tennessee and more than people in the Medical and Dental category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Clarksville where you can study to be a dental laboratory technician, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Clarksville area. The most common level of education for dental laboratory technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a dental laboratory technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Laboratory Technician

Dental Laboratory Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dental laboratory technicians construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.

Dental laboratory technicians read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed. They also test appliances for conformance to given requirements and precision of occlusion, using articulators and micrometers. Finally, dental laboratory technicians fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth.

Every day, dental laboratory technicians are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for dental laboratory technicians to melt metals or mix plaster, porcelain, or acrylic pastes, and pour materials into molds or over frameworks to fashion dental prostheses or apparatus. They are often called upon to remove excess metal or porcelain, and polish surfaces of prostheses or frameworks, using polishing machines. They also place tooth models on apparatus that mimics bite and movement of patient's jaw to review functionality of model. They are sometimes expected to develop a model of patient's mouth by pouring plaster into a dental impression and allowing plaster to set. Somewhat less frequently, dental laboratory technicians are also expected to read prescriptions or specifications, and examine models and impressions, to establish the layout of dental products to be constructed.

Dental laboratory technicians sometimes are asked to fill chipped or low spots in surfaces of devices, using acrylic resins. They also have to be able to fabricate and repair dental devices such as dentures and appliances for straightening teeth and shape and solder wire and metal frames or bands for dental products, using soldering irons and hand tools. And finally, they sometimes have to ready wax bite-blocks and impression trays for use.

Like many other jobs, dental laboratory technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Laboratory Technician Training

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville - Nashville, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville, 100 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 713 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Laboratory Technology/Technician which graduated four and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.

For more information, see the National Board for Certification - National Association of Dental Laboratories website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Clarksville, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee photo by Avala

Clarksville is situated in Montgomery County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 119,735, which has grown by 15.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Clarksville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Clarksville cost $97,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Clarksville, down from 1,038 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Clarksville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 19.8% of Clarksville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Clarksville is 8.8%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Clarksville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Spring Creek Church, South Chapel and Saint John Baptist Church are among the churches located in Clarksville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Clarksville is home to the Industrial Historic District and the Trice Landing as well as Fairgrounds Park and New Providence Recreation Area. Shopping malls in the area include Governors Square Mall Shopping Center, Clarksville Square Shopping Center and Two Rivers Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Clarksville can choose from Comfort Inn North, Hampton Inn Clarksville and Guesthouse Clarksville for temporary stays in the area.