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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. Currently, 4,800 people work as dental assistants in Colorado. This is expected to grow 30% to about 6,250 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental assistants are expected to grow by about 35.8%. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

A person working as a dental assistant can expect to earn about $16 hourly or $35,020 per year on average in Colorado and about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Colorado and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: oral and maxiofacial surgical assistant, orthodontic assistant, and dentist attendant.

The Colorado Springs area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Colorado Springs where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. Dental assistants usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so 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 Colorado Springs 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

Pikes Peak Community College - Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak Community College, 5675 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906-5498. Pikes Peak Community College is a large college located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,701 students. Pikes Peak Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated three, nineteen, and three students respectively in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs, CO

Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs, 3770 Citadel Drive North, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs is a small school located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 623 students. Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventy-one students in 2008.

Intellitec Medical Institute - Colorado Springs, CO

Intellitec Medical Institute, 2345 North Academy Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. Intellitec Medical Institute is a small school located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 309 students. Intellitec Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-one 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado photo by FlickreviewR

Colorado Springs is located in El Paso County, Colorado. It has a population of over 380,307, which has grown by 5.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Colorado Springs, 86, is well below the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Colorado Springs are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 33.6% of Colorado Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Colorado Springs is 7.0%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Colorado Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.1%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Colorado Springs is home to the Wilsons Ranch and the Flying W Ranch as well as Garden of the Gods and Acacia Park. Shopping malls in the area include Academy Center Shopping Center, Academy Place Shopping Center and Academy Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Colorado Springs can choose from Days Inn, Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs and Apache Court for temporary stays in the area.