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Dental lab technicians mold the way for smiles

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dustin Nuss, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, crafts a Hawley retainer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental lab technicians work on some dental aids that measure less than one millimeter in thickness. They must be precise in their work because the smallest mistake could cause a patient discomfort or pain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dustin Nuss, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, crafts a Hawley retainer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental lab technicians work on some dental aids that measure less than one millimeter in thickness. They must be precise in their work because the smallest mistake could cause a patient discomfort or pain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Dungey, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, grinds the excess stone around a dental impression to smooth its edges at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental impressions are used to create crowns, retainers or sports guards. The finished pieces are shown to the patient and fitted before being used. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Dungey, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, grinds the excess stone around a dental impression to smooth its edges at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental impressions are used to create crowns, retainers or sports guards. The finished pieces are shown to the patient and fitted before being used. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Dungey, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, grinds a dental stone impression of a patient's teeth at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. The dental lab receives approximately 20 impressions from patients each day.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cameron Dungey, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, grinds a dental stone impression of a patient's teeth at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. The dental lab receives approximately 20 impressions from patients each day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Murphy, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, prepares the Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing machine at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 1, 2012. The CAD/CAM uses a digital impression to build porcelain crowns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Murphy, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, prepares the Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing machine at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 1, 2012. The CAD/CAM uses a digital impression to build porcelain crowns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dustin Nuss, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, keeps retainer wires in place by using an acrylic mold on a dental impression at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental lab technicians also make other dental prosthetics, such as gold, ceramic and porcelain crowns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dustin Nuss, 35th Dental Squadron dental lab technician, keeps retainer wires in place by using an acrylic mold on a dental impression at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 24, 2012. Dental lab technicians also make other dental prosthetics, such as gold, ceramic and porcelain crowns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kaleb Snay/Released)