By: Wayne Ledford, CDT, Vice President - Customer Experience, Ivoclar Vivadent, Inc.
Having learned that June is CDT Appreciation Month, I think back to my own experience in earning my CDT and what that has meant to my career and to me, personally. I still recall the summer day in 1980 as I nervously opened the letter from National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology several weeks after taking my CDT exams and my relief that my test answers and practical work had met the standard. I wore the CDT patch proudly on my lab smock from that day forward while working at the lab and kept the certificate framed in my office.
Several years later, I made the decision to leave the bench and pursue a career in sales as a representative for Ivoclar Vivadent. In that career, the CDT title and its continuing education requirements continued to serve me as I educated and trained my customers on our products and delivered lectures and demos for dental organizations in my territory and beyond.
As I worked my way to my present role as Vice President of Customer Experience with Ivoclar Vivadent, the CDT title became less important toward fulfilling my duties. However, I still keep my CDT up to date in recognition of the growth and opportunities it has afforded me and in support of the organization that created it.
As a company, Ivoclar Vivadent also recognizes the value of the CDT program by covering the cost of CE and renewal for our many CDTs on staff and requiring CDT status for all of our Technical Consultants. Education has always been a strong focus of our company as evidenced by our many Continuing Education courses, both at our Centers for Advanced Education and in the field, and our generous financial commitment to the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology.
Over the years that I have been a CDT, the industry has changed in ways that I could not have imagined thirty-seven years ago. It is good to see NBC's efforts to keep on pace with those changes by updating the examination content and broadening the specialties. To anyone who is considering a career in dental technology or currently on that path, I encourage you to work towards earning and maintaining your CDT. I think you will find valuable benefits no matter which future direction your career may take.
At Ivoclar Vivadent, we salute the dental technicians and the important work that they do to improve the oral health, esthetics and self-confidence of the patients they serve. We also believe in the CDT program and the standards it sets for continued advancement of the dental technology industry.