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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Bridgeport, Connecticut

There are many career and education opportunities for dental assistants in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. There are currently 3,390 working dental assistants in Connecticut; this should grow by 21% to 4,120 working dental assistants in the state 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.

Income for dental assistants is about $18 hourly or $39,350 per year on average in Connecticut. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Connecticut earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: oral surgery assistant, surgical dental assistant, and expanded dental assistant.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can study to be a dental assistant, among seventy-five schools of higher education total in the Bridgeport area. The most common level of education 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 Bridgeport 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

Porter and Chester Institute of Branford - Branford, CT

Porter and Chester Institute of Branford, 221 W Main St, Branford, CT 06405. Porter and Chester Institute of Branford is a small school located in Branford, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 289 students. Porter and Chester Institute of Branford has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant.

Briarwood College - Southington, CT

Briarwood College, 2279 Mount Vernon Rd, Southington, CT 06489-1057. Briarwood College is a small college located in Southington, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 715 students. Briarwood College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated six and two students respectively in 2008.

Porter and Chester Institute - Stratford, CT

Porter and Chester Institute, 670 Lordship Blvd, Stratford, CT 06615-7158. Porter and Chester Institute is a small school located in Stratford, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,058 students. Porter and Chester Institute has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifty-four 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: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.