How to Become a Dental Sterilization Tech

A dental sterilization tech is responsible for ensuring that all of the dental instruments used in a dental office are clean and sterilized.

If you’re interested in becoming a dental sterilization tech, read on to learn more about the job responsibilities and necessary skills.

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Dental sterilization technicians are responsible for providing support to dental professionals by cleaning, organizing, and sterilizing dental instruments and equipment. There is growing demand for these professionals as more and more people seek dental care. If you are interested in a career in dental support, here is what you need to know about how to become a dental sterilization tech.

Most dental sterilization techs have at least a high school diploma, although some may have completed an accredited Sterile Processing Technician (SPT) program. In addition to formal education, on-the-job training is usually required in order to learn the specific tasks required in the role. Employers typically prefer candidates who have previous experience working in a medical or dental office setting.

The duties of a dental sterilization tech include disassembling and cleaning dental instruments, as well as setting up workstations for clinicians. Once instruments are clean and dry, they must be arranged in an orderly fashion on trays or in baskets before being sent through the sterilization process. After sterilization, instruments must be properly stored until needed for use. Dental sterilization techs must maintain detailed records of all equipment that has been cleaned and sterilized.

In order to be successful in this role, it is important to have excellent attention to detail and strong organizational skills. Sterilization techs must follow precise instructions in order to ensure that all instruments are properly cleaned and sterilized. They must also be able to effectively communicate with clinicians and other members of the dental team in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding procedures and protocols.

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What Does a Dental Sterilization Tech Do?

A dental sterilization tech is responsible for sterilizing dental equipment and instruments. They may also be responsible for setting up tray configurations for dental procedures, as well as preparing and maintaining the sterile field during procedures. In some cases, they may also assist with patient intake and charting.

Most dental sterilization techs work in private dental offices, although some may work in hospital settings or in other medical facilities. The majority of positions are full time, although there may be some part-time opportunities available. Some dental sterilization techs may be able to find positions that offer flexible scheduling options or the ability to work from home.

To become a dental sterilization tech, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. In some cases, you may be able to find entry-level positions with on-the-job training, but most employer prefer candidates who have completed a formal training program in dental sterile processing. There are a number of accredited programs available at community colleges and technical schools across the country. Once you have completed your training, you will likely need to obtain certification from a nationally recognized organization such as the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

The Education and Certification Needed to Become a Dental Sterilization Tech

Most dental sterilization techs have at least completed a high school education, and many have some college experience as well. There are a growing number of programs that offer certification in dental sterilization techniques, and these can often be completed in a year or less. Many community colleges and technical schools offer these programs, and some hospitals offer on-the-job training for those who are already employed as dental assistants or other dental professionals.

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Most dental sterilization techs are certified by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). To be eligible for certification, applicants must have graduated from an accredited dental assisting program and must have passed the DANB’s certified dental assistant (CDA) examination. Applicants must also pass a written examination and a skills assessment pertaining to infection control and safe work practices. Certification must be renewed every three years, and holders of certification must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their credential.

The Skills Needed to Become a Dental Sterilization Tech

In order to become a dental sterilization tech, there are a few skills that you will need to possess. First and foremost, you should be detail oriented. This job requires paying attention to small details in order to ensure that all instruments are properly sterilized. In addition, you should have good organizational skills in order to keep the dental office running smoothly. Finally, it is important to be able to work quickly and efficiently in order to sterilize all of the instruments in a timely manner.

The Job Outlook for Dental Sterilization Techs

The job outlook for dental sterilization techs is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for these professionals will grow by 18 percent between 2016 and 2026. That’s faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. The increasing use of dental services by an aging population will be the main driver of this demand.


We hope this guide has been helpful in informing you of the steps you need to take to become a dental sterilization tech. This growing field offers many opportunities for those who are interested in working in the dental industry. While the job may not be glamorous, it is an important one that helps keep dental offices clean and safe for both patients and staff. With the right training and certification, you can begin a rewarding career in this growing field.

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