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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Orange, California

For those living in the Orange, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for dental assistants. Currently, 41,600 people work as dental assistants in California. This is expected to grow 35% to 56,100 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.

Income for dental assistants is about $15 per hour or $32,260 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year. Earnings for dental assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in California and better than general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded dental assistant, hygiene assistant, and orthodontic assistant.

The Orange area is home to ninety-two schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of Orange where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. Given that the most common education level for dental assistants is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a dental assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Orange 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.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Assistant Training

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District-Adult Education - City of Industry, CA

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District-Adult Education, 15959 E Gale Ave, City of Industry, CA 91745-0002. Hacienda La Puente Unified School District-Adult Education is a small school located in City of Industry, California. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,500 students. Hacienda La Puente Unified School District-Adult Education has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated ninety-four students in 2008.

Everest College-Anaheim - Anaheim, CA

Everest College-Anaheim, 511 North Brookhurst St., Suite 300, Anaheim, CA 92801-5229. Everest College-Anaheim is a small college located in Anaheim, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 469 students and an admission rate of 44%. Everest College-Anaheim has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 1,187 students in 2008.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eight, eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cypress College - Cypress, CA

Cypress College, 9200 Valley View, Cypress, CA 90630-5897. Cypress College is a large college located in Cypress, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,990 students. Cypress College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eleven, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

PCI College - Cerritos, CA

PCI College, 17215 Studebaker Rd #310, Cerritos, CA 90703. PCI College is a small college located in Cerritos, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 155 students. PCI College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated ten students in 2008.

National Polytechnic College - Commerce, CA

National Polytechnic College, 6630 Telegraph Road, Commerce, CA 90040. National Polytechnic College is a small college located in Commerce, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 108 students. National Polytechnic College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated nine students in 2008.

American Career College - Anaheim, CA

American Career College, 1200 N. Magnolia Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801-0000. American Career College is a small college located in Anaheim, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 1,401 students and an admission rate of 80%. American Career College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eighty-nine students in 2008.

Concorde Career College - Garden Grove, CA

Concorde Career College, 12951 Euclid Street, Suite 101, Garden Grove, CA 92840-9201. Concorde Career College is a small college located in Garden Grove, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 761 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Dental Assistant - Registered

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Committee on Dental Auxiliaries, 1428 Howe Avenue, Suite 58, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-2595
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Committee on Dental Auxiliaries

Extended Functions - Dental Auxiliaries (Dental Assistant)

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Committee on Dental Auxiliaries, 1428 Howe Avenue, Suite 58, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-2595
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Committee on Dental Auxiliaries

Registered Dental Hygienists in Alternative Practice (RDHAP)

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Committee on Dental Auxiliaries, 1428 Howe Avenue, Suite 58, Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-2595
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Committee on Dental Auxiliaries

LOCATION INFORMATION: Orange, California

Orange, California
Orange, California photo by File Upload Bot

Orange is located in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 136,392, which has grown by 5.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orange, 134, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Orange are priced at $136,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-nine new homes were built in Orange, down from two hundred sixty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Orange are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.0% of Orange residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orange is 8.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Orange residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Orange is home to the El Modena Branch Orange Public Library and the Santiago Golf Course as well as Plaza Historic District and Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Shopping malls in the area include Village Plaza Shopping Center, Villa Park Town Center Shopping Center and Mall of Orange Shopping Center. Visitors to Orange can choose from Anaheim-Days Inn Orange, 7 Crowns Motel and American Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.