Great Lakes Orthodontics

Online Orthodontic and Dental Training

Great Lakes video-based training is a convenient way to learn how to fabricate appliances at your own pace without the hassle and expense of travel. It is also a cost effective way to train any number of staff members for a fraction of the cost.

These video courses are taught by Brian Willison, CDT, one of the country’s most experienced instructors and technical consultants, and cover the same key techniques and methods as those taught at our Great Lakes Hands-on Training Center... read more

You are guided through each phase of fabrication using the latest equipment and materials. Chapters include useful information that can be downloaded, as well as links to equipment and supplies used for each lesson. In addition, if you decide to end a lesson, your spot will be bookmarked so you can seamlessly resume where you left off.

We will be continually adding to our free and paid course selection, so check back frequently. If you have any problems with the playback of the video, please visit our online training help page for more information. Start training today! 

To gain access to our video training courses, you must be logged into your Great Lakes Orthodontics online account. Creating an account is easy and free, and will give you access to our videos and to other special features of the website. Please click here to create a free online account.

Available Courses

  • FREE *NEW* Preparing an Orthodontic Laboratory

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 4

    One of the most difficult tasks for an inexperienced, or even an experienced technician may encounter is setting up and organizing an Orthodontic Lab. In this session you will be introduced to equipment and materials that are used to create state-of-the-art orthodontic appliances. Also, you will learn the basic lab layout to provide a safe and efficient workplace.

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  • FREE BiostarĀ®/MiniSTARĀ® Course

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 8

    This informative course will show how you can save time and money using the Biostar® and MiniSTAR®. You will learn how to refine your current techniques as well as discover the latest procedures, equipment, and materials available. You will view machine operation, maintenance, and an array of appliance fabrication techniques. Also, you have the option to view each chapter in succession, or go directly to topics of interest.

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  • FREE Great Lakes Spot Welder

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 6

    The Great Lakes Spot Welder is ideal for welding, heat treating, and electrosoldering of metal components. You will learn how to setup the unit, operation of the basic controls, and general maintenance. The spot welding process, heat treating, and electrosoldering are also covered.

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  • FREE Great Lakes Tack Welder

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 6

    The Great Lakes Tack welder is ideal for temporary positioning of metal components prior to spot welding, laser welding, or soldering. This lesson introduces you to the tack welding process and demonstrates how to operate the unit.

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  • Orthodontic Laboratory Soldering

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 10

    The Orthodontic Laboratory Soldering Course is design for technicians with wirebending experience and interested to learn the soldering technique used to fabricate a variety of orthodontic appliances and special components. A prerequisite for this course would be the "Introduction to Ortho-Lab Wirebending" & "Orthodontic Retainer" Courses that will introduce you to wirebending, acrylic processing, and appliance finishing skills as well as basic laboratory equipment and materials.

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    Item #: 270-057

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  • Orthodontic Laboratory Wire Bending

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 14

    The skill of wire bending within an orthodontic laboratory requires the highest level of manual dexterity. Designed for the novice or beginner technician, this in-depth course will guide you through basic wire bending exercises. You will learn the proper use of pliers and how to bend orthodontic lab wire, beginning with paper exercises and graduating to working on stone models. 

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    Item #: 270-050

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  • Orthodontic Retainer (Hawley)

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 28

    This course will teach you how to fabricate one of the most popular orthodontic retainer designs, the “Hawley” Retainer. You will receive step-by-step instruction on popular wire clasps and the Hawley labial bow, as well as acrylicing, trimming, and finishing procedures. You will also learn how to adjust the retainer and perform acrylic repairs. 

    This course is intended for technicians with some retainer wire bending experience. To ensure a successful learning experience, the online Ortho-Lab Wire Bending course is strongly advised as a prerequisite. 

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    Item #: 270-051

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  • Orthodontic Study Models

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 10

    Study model in orthodontics are taken to record the initial/baseline malocclusion of the patient. They may be used to allow a more accurate assessment of the malocclusion and facilitate measurement. Good study models will show all the teeth, with well-defined sulci. The models are trimmed in the laboratory so that when placed on their 'heel' the teeth are in the patient's intercuspal relationship. Within this course you will learn how to create Orthodontic Study Models to the standards outlined by the American Board of Orthodontists. Also, you will see how to digitally store these physical models.


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    Item #: 270-058

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  • Ricketts Retainer

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 10

    This course will teach you how to fabricate a Ricketts Retainer, commonly used for post-orthodontic retention. You will receive step-by-step instruction of popular wire clasps and the Ricketts labial bow, as well as acrylicing, trimming, and finishing procedures. 

    This course is intended for technicians with some retainer wire bending experience. To ensure a successful learning experience, the online Ortho-Lab Wire Bending and Orthodontic Retainer courses are strongly advised as a prerequisite. 

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    Item #: 270-052

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  • Spring Retainers / Spring Aligner Fabrication

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 10

    This Orthodontic Laboratory Appliance Course is designed for technicians with at least 1-2 years experience in fabrication of Hawley retainers. Advanced wirebending and acrylic trimming skills will be necessary to effectively complete this session. A prerequisite for this course would be completion of the “Introduction to Ortho-Lab Wirebending” and “Orthodontic Retainer” courses.

    In this course you will be introduced to materials and equipment that will make the processing these active plate appliances easy and efficient. 

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    Item #: 270-070

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  • Wrap Around Retainer

    Continuing Education (CE) Credits: 10

    This course will teach you how to fabricate a Wrap Around Retainer, commonly used for post-orthodontic retention. You will receive step-by-step instruction of this labial bow stabilizing bar, as well as acrylicing, trimming, and finishing procedures. 

    This course is intended for technicians with retainer wire bending experience. To ensure a successful learning experience, the online Ortho-Lab Wire Bending and Orthodontic Retainer courses are strongly advised as prerequisites. 

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    Item #: 270-053

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