One of the requirements for admission to the Dental Laboratory Technology Program is a pre-admission conference. Please contact the Program Coordinator (Robin Gornto) by email or phone ((859)246-6244) for more information.
Dental laboratory technology is a unique health care profession because most dental laboratory technicians have little or no contact with patients. Technicians work from dental prescriptions provided by dentists and then fabricate custom dental appliances and prostheses as replacements for natural teeth so that a person can eat, smile, and talk as well as or better than before.
Dental technicians make crowns, bridges, complete dentures, orthodontic appliances, and removable partial dentures. Each item is custom designed and fabricated to meet the needs of the patient. Dental technicians usually work behind the scenes in a laboratory that may or may not be located in the dental office. The work is prescribed by a dentist similar to the doctor/pharmacist relationship. The ability to work independently and have good hand skills is important. Attention to detail is a prime requisite of good dental laboratory technicians.
The recommended way to learn this profession is by graduating from a formal educational program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (such as this one here at the Bluegrass Community & Technical College). The other method is on-the-job training. Graduates from the BCTC Dental Lab Program earn an Associate in Applied Science degree or a one-year Certificate. Students are prepared for entry-level positions as well as future management and ownership opportunities.
Yes. Being your own boss has many rewards - not the least of which is financial. Many graduates from the BCTC Dental Lab Program own dental laboratories. A survey done several years ago showed that about a third of the dental laboratories in Kentucky were owned by graduates of this Program.
Employment opportunities for dental technicians have remained steady throughout Kentucky and the nation. An aging population with more disposable income ensures a positive longterm outlook.
Salaries vary widely because of the variety of employment opportunities. Laboratory ownership is usually the highest paying opportunity with many owners earning six-figure salaries. The average dental technician in Kentucky earns $17.50 an hour. Salaries differ with skill levels and responsibilities. A strength of this Program is the preparation students receive for higher-end positions of ownership and management. Salary information can also be found at the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Kentucky requires that laboratories must have a Certified Dental Technician (CDT) working in the laboratory or the laboratory must be owned by a dentist. CDT's specialize in crown & bridge, ceramics, complete dentures, removable partial dentures, or orthodontics. Technicians usually specialize in one just area but some specialize in more.
Please see the Guidelines for Admissions link.
Tuition for full-time students at the Bluegrass Community & Technical College for the 2012-13 year is $140 per credit hour for Kentucky residents, $280 for out-of-state from contiguous counties and $490 for other out-of-state residents. Dental Laboratory Technology students must buy a dental instrument kit which costs approximately $600 ($450 in the fall and $170 in the spring). Dental lab textbooks are also required for most classes. The Program loans free of charge approximately $2,500 worth of equipment to each student for use in the laboratory portion of the curriculum.
There are general scholarships available to all students at BCTC and some just for dental lab students. 1st year DLT students are eligible for free instrument kit scholarships. Winners get to use the instrument kit while in the Program and may keep the kit upon earning the Associate in Applied Science degree.
1st Year Students
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
2nd Year Students
Note: Every student needs practice in order to develop their skills. The dental laboratory is open until 5:00 p.m. each day (noon on Fridays). Students should plan to work in the laboratory as much as possible. It's a time to develop and practice your hand skills, work on assigned projects, catch-up or get ahead, experiment, and just generally become a better dental technician. Plan your schedule with this in mind.
Priorities...we all stuggle with this. The DLT Program demands a lot and if you're going to be good at it you need to spend a lot of time in the lab. There's also homework and studying for exams. Doing all that while working and/or managing a family is a challenge but it can be done. This can be a very rewarding career but it doesn't come easy. Successfully completing a college degree is like a full-time job. It's one thing to just want a degree...it's another to actually earn it. One must set priorities regarding family, school and work.
This is a national organization charged with overseeing dental programs. Programs are required to meet a set of standards that ensure students receive proper education and training. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the Commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting:
The Commission211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-2678 1 (800) 621-8099 extension 4653.
Some tasks performed by students in the Dental Laboratory Technology Program at BCTC are classified as Category I tasks as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor. Standard operating procedures have been developed for these tasks that rigorously follow the infection control recommendations and guidelines established by the National Association of Dental Laboratories, American Dental Association and the Centers of Disease Control.
The goal of all of this is to provide a safe and healthy working environment. The Program ensures that all protective measures are available and that students carry out all aspects of this protocol. Toward this end, we encourage students to obtain the usual vaccinations, e.g. hepatitis B vaccination.
If you are an applicant to the Dental Laboratory Technology Program, and have read the above information, please submit the Interview Form. If you have further questions, please contact the Program Coordinator - Robin Gornto (859) 246-6244. Thank you.