National Credential
Credential: Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics
Credentialing Agency: National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC)

Certified Dental Technician - Orthodontics, validates knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of an Orthodontics dental technician. Dental technicians manufacture dental prosthetics including bridges, crowns and dentures according to specifications dentists send to them. They work in specialties that include orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures, or ceramics. The applicant must successfully complete written, practical and specialty written examinations. This is a mid-level certification. The Orthodontics specialty subject matter includes the design and function of orthodontic appliances, including materials and fabrication techniques, terminology and occlusion. All candidates must be a high school graduate. Passing the examinations required to become a certified dental technician usually requires some degree of training /experience, education or both.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 1 year

Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68E Dental Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted N5 Dental Laboratory Specialist ASI some          

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 5 years
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 1 year

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC)
325 John Knox Rd.
Tallahassee, FL  32303
Phone: (800) 684-5310
Fax: (850) 222-0053

Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics

Applicant must be a high school graduate (or the documented equivalent).

Option 1:

Not current NBC Recognized Graduate (RG):  Applicants who are not current participants in the NBC’s Recognized Graduate (RG) program, should document at least five (5) years of training and/or experience in dental technology. Time spent in on-the-job training (including formal apprenticeships and training courses) or studying in a dental technology education program may be counted towards this requirement.

Note : An exception is made for graduates of a two-year, ADA-accredited dental technology education program. These candidates may apply for the CDT examinations after completion of two (2) years of practical experience in addition to (and not concurrent with) their course of study.

Option 2:

Current NBC ecognized Graduates: Applicants who are current Recognized Graduates, the technical prerequisites for testing may be met in one of the following ways:

  • Recognized Graduates from two-year ADA-accredited programs may sit for the CDT examinations without having to obtain additional education or on-the-job-experience.
  • Recognized Graduates from non-ADA-accredited programs may sit for the CDT examinations after obtaining at least three (3) years of on-the-job experience.

The Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics credential has the following other requirements:

  • Applicants must have a working knowledge of the English language.


  • Be of satisfactory ethical and legal standing as defined by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology's disciplinary standards.

Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics

  • General
    • Anatomy & Terminology
    • Materials
    • Fabrication & Technique
    • The Dental Profession & the Dental Laboratory Industry
  • Ceramics
    • Impression Materials
    • Cast Fabrication
    • Articulation
    • Casts — Materials & Fabrication
    • Materials- Types, Physical Properties and Handling Characteristics
    • Pattern Design & Fabrication
    • Spruing
    • Investing
    • Wax Elimination (Burnout)
    • Casting & Divesting
    • Finishing Procedures for Substructures
    • Soldering — Pre- & Post-porcelain
    • Tooth Morphology/Terminology
    • Metal Preparation
    • Opaque Technique
    • Porcelain Application
    • Firing Technique
    • Finishing
  • Complete Dentures
    • Oral Anatomy and Physiology
    • Impressions - Materials & Handling
    • Trial Denture Bases
    • Occlusal Rims
    • Articulators and Articulation of Casts
    • Prosthetic Teeth
    • Denture Base Fabrication
    • Flasking
    • Finish and Polish Denture Base
    • Packing and Processing Dentures
    • Post-delivery Laboratory Procedures
  • Crown and Bridge
    • Impression Materials
    • Cast Fabrication
    • Articulation
    • Materials- Types, Physical Properties and Handling Characteristics
    • Pattern Design & Fabrication
    • Spruing
    • Investing
    • Wax Elimination (Burnout)
    • Casting & Devesting
    • Finishing Procedures
    • Soldering
    • Tooth Morphology/Terminology
  • Orthodontics
    • Orthodontic Appliances — Fixed
    • Orthodontic Appliances — Removable
    • Materials
    • Clasps
    • Auxiliaries
    • Acrylics
    • Soldering/Welding
    • Appliance Repair
    • Study Casts
    • Equipment
    • Splints
  • Partial Dentures
    • Components of Framework
    • Cast Fabrication
    • Articulation of Casts
    • Survey and Design
    • Refractory Cast Fabrication
    • Preparation of Refractory Cast - Transfer Design
    • Fabrication of Partial Dentures
    • Repairs and Additions
    • Wrought Metals
  • Implants
    • Case Acceptance
    • Master (Definitive) Cast
    • Removable Prosthesis
    • Bar/Substructure
    • Screw-Retained Fixed Removable (Hybrid) Prosthesis
    • Cementable Fixed Prosthesis
    • Materials and Equipment for Manufacturing Prostheses
  • Design and function of orthodontic appliances
  • Materials and Fabrication Techniques
  • Terminology
  • Occlusion

The Practical examination is a hands-on exam that requires a candidate to demonstrate their competence over a range of procedures normally associated with their chosen specialty. The Practical exam consists of preliminary procedures that must be performed in the candidate's own laboratory prior to the examination date, plus specific steps which must be completed under the observation of the NBC Examiners at the exam site.

Additional details can be obtained from CDT Examination Handbook.

  • Prior to the examination, candidates in the Orthodontic specialty need only prepare their casts using the NBC test molds. All other assignments, the fabrication of three appliances, are done at the test site:

    • One Hawley-type appliance
    • One removable modified mandibular unilateral sagittal appliance
    • One fixed mandibular lingual arch

    In the Orthodontic test, candidates’ grades are reported in three parts: Each appliance represents one sub-test score.

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics

Renewal Period: 1 year

The Certified Dental Technician- Orthodontics credential has the following recertification information:

In order to retain certification, Certified Dental Technicians are required to apply annually to the NBC for renewal. To qualify for renewal, the CDT must meet the following:

  • Attest that he or she has complied with the laws governing the practice of dental technology and dentistry in the applicable state; 
  • Must submit proof of specific continuing education and
  • Must pay the renewal fee.

Additional details related to recertification can be obtained from the CDT Handbook.