A dental technician, also called a dental tech, has the job of manufacturing prosthetics for dentists. For example, a dental tech may make crowns or dentures based on the specifications a dentist provides. If you want to become a dental tech, you may wonder how to choose the best dental tech school to prepare for this career. In most cases, choosing the best school means selecting one that is accredited in your jurisdiction, offers the course content you need, and is within your financial budget. You may also consider such factors as campus location as you make a decision.
In most cases, selecting the best dental tech school means choosing one that offers an associate's degree in dental technology. This is the credential that most aspiring dental techs seek, and you can usually earn this credential after about two years of study. Selecting an accredited school is important for ensuring the legitimacy of the degree you earn. If you earn a degree at an unaccredited school, there's a chance potential employers, certifying organizations, and other schools won't consider it a legitimate credential. Additionally, you can usually trust that an accredited dental tech school meets educational standards for your area.
While most dental tech schools offer associate's degrees in dental technology, there are some that offer bachelor's degrees as well. These programs are longer and typically require about four years of study. You may find, however, that employers will view you as more qualified if you earn a four-year degree instead of a two-year degree. This may translate into more job offers and better pay, in some cases.
Program content is also an important consideration when you're trying to choose the best dental tech school. Typically, students choose programs that include courses in orthodontics, ceramic techniques, and the use of dental materials. Likewise, you'll likely need to look for a school that provides instruction in such topics as dental laboratory practice and bridge and crown work. Dental tech programs usually include dental anatomy courses as well.
You may also consider cost and location as you compare dental tech schools. Some schools may offer lower tuition or financial aid packages that make them more attractive options. Others may offer installment payment plans that make handling tuition obligations easier. Additionally, you may also consider schools that are close to your home or workplace more suitable than those that require more travel.