Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Little Rock, Arkansas
Dental assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Little Rock, Arkansas. Currently, 2,300 people work as dental assistants in Arkansas. This is expected to grow 32% to about 3,030 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for dental assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 35.8% over the next eight years. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
Dental assistants earn about $12 per hour or $26,840 per year on average in Arkansas and about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year on average nationally. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Arkansas, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: surgical dental assistant, hygiene assistant, and orthodontic assistant.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can study to be a dental assistant, among twenty-five schools of higher education total in the Little Rock area. Dental assistants usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying to be a dental assistant if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Assistant
In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
Dental assistants ready patients, sterilize and disinfect instruments, prepare instrument trays and assist dentists during dental procedures. They also expose dental diagnostic x-rays. Equally important, dental assistants have to provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentists. They are often called upon to pour and polish study casts. They are expected to record treatment data in patient archives. Finally, dental assistants order and monitor dental supplies and apparatus inventory.
Every day, dental assistants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for dental assistants to take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients. They are often called upon to instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs. They also clean and polish removable appliances. They are sometimes expected to schedule appointments, ready bills and receive payment for dental services, complete insurance forms, and maintain records, manually or using computer. Somewhat less frequently, dental assistants are also expected to apply protective coating of fluoride to teeth.
and make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts. And finally, they sometimes have to clean and polish removable appliances.
Like many other jobs, dental assistants must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:
- Medical Assistant. Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
- Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Assistant Training
Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock, AR
Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118-3347. Pulaski Technical College is a medium sized college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,092 students. Pulaski Technical College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.
Eastern College of Health Vocations - Little Rock, AR
Eastern College of Health Vocations, 6423 Forbing Rd, Little Rock, AR 72209. Eastern College of Health Vocations is a small college located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 325 students. Eastern College of Health Vocations has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventy-six students in 2008.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Associate Fellow: Your Associate Fellow certificate lets your patients know that you are an experienced, credentialed implant professional.
For more information, see the American Academy of Implant Dentistry website.
Registered Dental Assistant: A Dental Assistant is an integral member of the dental health team, competent via education, experience, and understanding of patient welfare.
For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.
Certified Othodontic Assistant: The COA examination in Orthodontic Assisting was added in 1986 to offer credentialing for assistants specializing in orthodontic assisting procedures.
For more information, see the Dental Assisting National Board website.
Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.
For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.
Licensing agency: Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners
Address: 101 East Capitol, Suite 111, Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-2085
Website: Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.
The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.