Dental Technology

Dental Technology

Restore Beautiful Smiles 

Kirkwood’s Dental Technology program — one of only 13 accredited programs in the nation and the only one in Iowa — prepares you in five specialty areas: dentures, partial dentures, ceramics, orthodontics, and crowns and bridges.

The goal and challenge for a dental technician is to create a restoration that is a perfect match to a patient’s natural tooth. Artistic and creative abilities are valuable assets for a dental technician.

During your training, you'll work with commercial dental laboratories, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, and the UI Hospitals & Clinics' Hospital Dentistry to gain hands-on experience.

Bloodborne Pathogens in Dentistry

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Commission on Dental Accreditation Third-Party Comments Solicitation

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) will conduct a site visit at Kirkwood Community College Nov. 16-18, 2022  as part of its accreditation review. Per U.S. Department of Education requirements, the Dental Technology program must solicit third-party comments from Kirkwood communities of interest and the general public, including faculty, students, program administrators, specialty and dental-related organizations, patients, and consumers that pertain to the standards of policies and procedures used in CODA’s accreditation process. Therefore, Kirkwood invites you to provide comments directly to CODA prior to the site visit.

Signed or unsigned comments will be accepted. Names and/or signatures will be removed by CODA prior to forwarding to the college program. All comments must pertain only to the standards relative to the particular program(s) being reviewed, or policies and procedures used in the accreditation process. Comments will be screened by Commission staff for relevancy. For comments not relevant to these issues, the individual will be notified that the comment is not related to accreditation and, where appropriate, referred to the appropriate agency.

Individuals who are interested in submitting third-party comments, may contact the Commission office at 1-312-440-4653 for submission guidance. Because all third-party comments must be received 60 days before the site visit, the deadline for receipt of third-party comments is Sept. 16, 2022. For additional information, please review the entire policy on Third Party Comments in the Commission’s “Evaluation an Operational Policies and Procedures” (EOPP) manual.

Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year, and there are many specifically for students enrolled in the Dental Technology program!

Graduates of the Dental Technology program will be able to:

  • Apply natural and physical sciences
  • Manipulate dental materials
  • Fabricate prosthodontics
  • Perform dental lab management
  • Comply with safety and health regulations

A one-hour program conference is required prior to acceptance to the program. You'll learn more about the program, specific admissions requirements, and have the opportunity to have questions answered by program faculty and staff.

Program Costs

Dental Technology 

Program Entry Semester: Fall 2021

Year One

Credits: 17 18 35
Tuition: $3,162 $3,348 $6,510
Fees: $1,377 $1385 $1,762
Books: $651 $268 $919



Credits: 10 10
Tuition: $1,860 $1,860
Fees: $895.75 $895.75
Books: $125.25 $125.25


Year Two

Credits: 17 18 35
Tuition: $3,162 $3,348 $6,510
Fees: $284.25 $630 $914.25
Books: $404 $404




Costs provided are estimated and based on in-state tuition rates. Book cost estimates are for new books. Individual expenses may vary. These costs also do not factor in potential financial aid benefits. For a complete view of your specific cost expectation, visit our Cost Estimator Tool.
Included fees: Technology Fee, Lab Course Fee, Third Party Credentials (Licensure and Certification Exam, and Registered Graduate Exam), Class Related Supplies (Safety Glasses/Helmet), and Ancillary Expenses (Tool Sets, Uniforms, Health Screenings (X-Ray, TB, HepB), Miscellaneous (Background Check). Does not include clinical travel and parking expenses, variable by clinic location. Health insurance is required for this program, costs will vary depending on coverage.
Current Tuition Rates per Credit Hour: $ 186 In-State; $ 249 Out-of-State; $ 372 International
Updated: 1/27/2021

Additional Program Requirements

To get into the Dental Technology program, you must meet the following additional standards. These steps/requirements are in addition to Kirkwood's steps to become a student:

  • Attend a program conference
  • Apply to the program
  • Have placement test scores or course equivalents on file with the Allied Health office. If college level placement is not met, students are recommended to meet with an advisor.

Kirkwood and Dental Technology admissions policies and procedures are subject to change at any time. After all admissions criteria are met, students are accepted or placed on the waitlist to the Dental Technology program.

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The Dental Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and has been granted the accreditation status of compliance with reporting requirements. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Graduates are eligible to take the Recognized Graduate examination, which is one of the first steps leading to certification as a certified dental technician (CDT). This examination is administered by the National Board of Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology.

Successful completion of this program leads to a professional licensure or certification. View the state listing guide to identify which Kirkwood program fulfills state guidelines for professional licensure and certification.


The mission of the Dental Technology program is to prepare a diverse group of competent, ethical dental technologists who are assets to the field of dentistry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates with Dental Technology degrees can obtain jobs in a variety of different career opportunities.

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Good eye/hand coordination and attention to detail.

General education courses are a good place to start. The curriculum sheet identifies those classes which can be taken before beginning the program. Let us know, and we will assist you with registration.

Clinic sites can be anywhere in Iowa. We attempt to assign a clinic site within traveling distance of our main campus.

Between $15-$25 per hour, depending on the location of the laboratory and the efficiency of the graduate. Salary potential drastically escalates as proficiency is proven. There is no salary ceiling since technicians can own their own laboratories.

No. Certification is not required, but it does demonstrate professional competence. After successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the national certification exam. The exam can be taken after successfully completing the Recognized Graduate exam. Only one specialty may be taken at a time. The majority of the managers, department supervisors and lab owners are certified.

A graduate who is flexible, has a good work ethic, is dependable and can follow directions is a valuable employee. Since a lab produces dental products, efficient employees are valuable and earn better salaries.


Allied Health
2164 Linn Hall