This month, we at the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL
) – the unified voice of the dental laboratory profession supporting dentistry and serving public interest by promoting high standards – and the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC
) – an independent certification organization dedicated to improving the quality of dental laboratory technology through voluntary testing and certification of dental laboratories and technicians – celebrate Dental Technician and Certified Dental Technician (CDT) Appreciation Month.
Operating behind the scenes of oral health care, dental technicians and CDTs provide a crucial role in ensuring the delivery of quality restorations to patients. Dental technicians bring considerable experience and subject matter expertise in the areas of dental materials, technology utilization, shade verification and restorative dentistry.
CDTs demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge and applied skills needed in dental technology. The designation illustrates a technician’s commitment to the field of dental technology and indicates their knowledge in six specialty areas: ceramics, complete dentures, crown and bridge, orthodontics, partial dentures and implants.
Some might be surprised to find out that in the U.S., most states set no minimum standards for persons to be employed as dental technicians. Only four states in the U.S. require either certification or continuing education for dental technicians. Through its “What’s In Your Mouth
?” campaign, NADL works to inform dentists and patients of the important role of the dental laboratory technician and continuing education and/or certification.
Given that dental technicians often aren’t known to everyday people as they usually aren’t seen by the patient, it is up to us as dedicated, proud dental technicians to show the world what we do and the benefits of working with a formally educated, trained and/or certified dental technician.
It is our honor to dedicate the month of June to dental technicians and CDTs. Both NADL and NBC acknowledge and give special recognition to all dental technicians and CDTs for their hard work, quality service and dedication to the patient and profession. We look forward to the special insert in the June/July issue of the Journal of Dental Technology
, recognizing all CDTs who have reached a milestone in 2016.
Heather Voss is a certified dental technician, 2016 National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology chair and National Association of Dental Laboratories board member.