Program Description

The Pasadena City College Restorative Dental Technology Program curriculum prepares a student for employment in a private or commercial dental laboratory or dental office performing restorative dental techniques and procedures. Emphasis is on fundamental and advanced laboratory procedures and concepts in all specialized areas: removable complete dentures, crown and fixed partial dentures, dental ceramics, removable partial dentures, implants, digital dentistry CAD CAM (three levels), and orthodontics and pedodontics. Instruction includes courses in intraoral and facial structures, dental materials, two-levels of dental anatomy, articulator instrumentation, functional anatomy, dental calculations, dental laboratory management, juris prudence, and legalities, as well as workplace readiness and dental communications. Students learn in two fully equipped, state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated to fixed and removable prosthetic fabrication and a digital workflow area. Students learn from caring, dedicated, and experienced faculty.

The Restorative Dental Technology Program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association (ADA), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Program is also a member of the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). Upon successful completion of the curriculum, a student is eligible to take the written Recognized Graduate Examination given by the National Board for Certification.

A Certificate of Achievement is awarded upon completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better. Pasadena City College will also award an Associate in Science Degree with a major in Restorative Dental Technology upon successful completion of courses prescribed for the Certificate of Achievement in the Restorative Dental Technology Program and completion of certain general education classes. Please consult with a college counselor or the college catalog for more information.

Students must provide their own transportation to off-campus laboratory sites for their Clinical Experience course during the second year.

Fabricating a dental prosthesis is a tremendously detailed procedure that requires knowledge of structural mechanics, metallurgy, materials science, chemistry, biology, physiology, physics, head and neck anatomy, colorimetry and esthetics. A good restorative dental technologist not only possesses working knowledge in these areas, but also has great manual and perceptual skills. The Pasadena City College Restorative Dental Technology Program has been providing a well-rounded education in restorative dental technology since 1967.

Eligibility for Entrance into The Restorative Dental Technology Program

  1. Graduation from a U.S. accredited high school, GED, or the equivalent (such as officially translated/evaluated transcripts* from a high school or college in another country) with a 2.0 grade point average.
  2. A Restorative Dental Technology Application for Admission signed, dated and filled out completely.
  3. Satisfactory scores on Manual Dexterity and Hand/Eye Coordination Exams that are given by appointment with the Restorative Dental Technology Admissions Coordinator. Please call 626-585-7200 to schedule an appointment.
  4. One official U.S. high school transcript or official GED Certificate or official Equivalency Report from one of the college’s acceptable companies; NOT required if Associate or higher degree is already posted on official U.S. college transcripts.*
  5. One official transcript from ALL U. S. colleges and universities attended including Pasadena City College.*

*Unofficial transcripts and photocopies of diplomas are not acceptable.

Please note that upon acceptance to the Restorative Dental Technology Program the College's Records Office will also require a second set of official transcripts and a health clearance by a physician.

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate competence in performing basic and advanced level laboratory procedures and techniques required to design and fabricate fixed and removable dental prostheses and basic orthodontic appliances appropriate for an entry-level restorative dental technologist as verified by skills and knowledge specified in the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) Standards for Dental Laboratory Technology.
  2. Apply basic knowledge of physical properties, uses and manipulation of dental materials to insure proper materials are used in correct proportions for specific restorative procedures and that appropriate safety and disposal procedures are followed.
  3. Design and fabricate fixed and removable dental prostheses that follow appropriate tooth form and function and take into consideration structures of the oral cavity, determinants of occlusal morphology, and physiology of mandibular movements.
  4. Use oral, non-verbal, and written communication skills for effective professional interactions in the dental office or laboratory setting.
  5. Function as a member of a diverse dental team demonstrating cultural sensitivity and no biases.
  6. Be prepared to continue developing their dental, community and world awareness through attending conventions, lectures, and workshops as well as active participation in professional/non-professional organizations.
  7. Apply ethical and legal principles to the dental laboratory workplace and apply regulatory considerations related to bloodborne diseases.
  8. Demonstrate work practices and safety protocols that promote a safe environment.
  9. Secure employment as an entry-level restorative dental technologist.
  10. Successfully challenge the Recognized Graduate Examination (first step in becoming a Board Certified Dental Laboratory Technologist as granted by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology).
  11. Be prepared to transfer to a college or university for upper level studies in the health fields.

This program is designed to be completed in months.

This program will cost if completed within normal time. There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with of debt.

License requirements:

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here:

This program has not passed standards established by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department based these standards on the amounts students borrow for enrollment in this program and their reported earnings. If in the future the program does not pass the standards, students who are then enrolled may not be able to use federal student grants or loans to pay for the program, and may have to find other ways, such as private loans, to pay for the program.

 Career Snapshot

Requirements for the Certificate of Achievement

Required Units: 64 

Semester I

  • RDT 125A - Beginning Crown and Bridge (4)
  • RDT 130A -  Beginning Complete Dentures (4)
  • RDT 135A – Beginning Dental Anatomy (2.5)
  • RDT 140A – Beginning Digital Dentistry CAD CAM I (1.5)
  • RDT 145 – Dental Materials (2)
  • RDT 150 – Dental Communication and Workplace Readiness Skills (0.5)

Semester II

  • RDT 125B – Advanced Crown and Bridge (5)
  • RDT 130B – Advanced Complete Dentures (5)
  • RDT 135B – Intermediate Dental Anatomy (2.5)
  • RDT 140B – Intermediate Digital Dentistry CAD CAM II (1.5)
  • RDT 155 – Anatomy of Oral and Facial Structures (1)
  • RDT 160 – Dental Calculations, Weights and Measures (0.5)

Semester III

  • RDT 225A – Beginning Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs) (4)
  • RDT 230A – Beginning Dental Ceramics (5)
  • RDT 235A – Functional Occlusion and Articulator Instrumentation (2.5)
  • RDT 240 – Advanced Digital Dentistry CAD CAM III (1.5)
  • RDT 245 – Orthodontics and Pedodontics (3)
  • RDT 250 – Laboratory Bus. Mgmt/ Admin, Legalities, Ethics and Jurisprudence (1)

Semester IV

  • RDT 225B – Advanced Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs) (3)
  • RDT 230B – Advanced Dental Ceramics (5)
  • RDT 235B – Advanced Functional Occlusion and Biomechanics of the Masticatory System (2.5)
  • RDT 255 – Introduction to Dental Implants (2)
  • RDT 260 – Transition to the Restorative Dental Technology Profession (1.5)
  • RDT 265 – Clinical Experience (3)

Recommended Electives

  • ART 025 – Beginning Sculpture (3)
  • ART 034A – Crafts-Materials and Processes (3)
  • BUS 013 – Business Lectures (1)
  • BUS 116 – Small Business Management (3)
  • COUN 010 – Introduction to College (1)
  • COUN 011 – Learning Strategies and College Skills Development (1)
  • COUN 012 – Personal Growth and Development (3)
  • COUN 017 – Career Planning (2)
  • DA 110 – Introduction to Dental Essentials (3)
  • ENGL 450 – Introduction to English Essentials (3)

Earn an Associate of Science Degree With Your Certificate of Achievement

An AS Degree prepares you with the unique skills needed to enter a specialized career field. Earned in conjunction with a Certificate of Achievement, it will open up further opportunities for career advancement.

To earn your AS degree, you will need to complete the general education requirements for an AS degree in addition to the above listed Certificate of Achievement Requirements.

Download AS Degree Requirements

Catalog Year
This information reflects the information from the 2020-2021 catalog. If you have questions about a previous version, please review our Catalog Archives and/or speak with a Counselor.