Jody Garey, a dental laboratory technician at DSG Boos Dental Laboratory in Golden Valley, talks about her job.

Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

A: I start by reviewing routing sheets to be sure all the appliances are fabricated in time to be shipped to clients nationwide, and review manifests of products being shipped here. I organize the laboratory workflow and locate all the appliances going out that day. Then it becomes a production day with very specific production steps for each appliance, including modeling, waxing, applying acrylic and finishing. The process can take up to four days. I work mainly with night guards and dentures, based on orders from dentists and orthodontists.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger health care picture?

A: I provide the dentists with appliances that fit their patients' needs.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

A: Other technicians, other managers within our network of laboratories, our delivery staff, our client dentists, the office staff, and occasionally a patient who needs a repair.

Q: Why did you become a dental laboratory technician?

A: I was working long hours in retail management and saw an ad for a laboratory that was willing to train dental technicians. That was in 1987. It was something I found I enjoyed.

Q: What do you like about your work?

A: It can change a person's perspective on the way they see themselves, and their self-confidence. I like the challenge of it and the fact that this is an industry that is ever-changing, ever- growing, ever-improving. It's kind of fun to be on that rise as technology comes into that and that you can improve the product to help that patient even further.