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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Thornton, Colorado

Dental assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Thornton, Colorado area. There are currently 4,800 jobs for dental assistants in Colorado and this is projected to grow by 30% to 6,250 jobs 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. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

The income of a dental assistant is about $16 hourly or $35,020 annually on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Colorado earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: certified dental assistant , dental office manager, and orthodontic assistant.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can study to be a dental assistant, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the Thornton area. Given that the most common education level for dental assistants is a post-secondary certificate, 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

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 Thornton 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

Front Range Community College - Westminster, CO

Front Range Community College, 3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031. Front Range Community College is a large college located in Westminster, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,480 students. Front Range Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Denver, CO

Pima Medical Institute, 7475 Dakin St Suite 100, Denver, CO 80221. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 782 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 104 students in 2008.

Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO

Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Emily Griffith Opportunity School - Denver, CO

Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80204-2197. Emily Griffith Opportunity School is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,148 students. Emily Griffith Opportunity School has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Concorde Career Colleges - Aurora, CO

Concorde Career Colleges, 111 N. Havana Street, Aurora, CO 80010-4314. Concorde Career Colleges is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 686 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Colleges has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixty-eight 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: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.