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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Wilmington, Delaware

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for dental assistants in the Wilmington, Delaware area. There are currently 720 working dental assistants in Delaware; this should grow 25% to about 900 working dental assistants in the state 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%. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn about $16 per hour or $34,670 annually on average in Delaware and about $15 hourly or $32,380 annually on average nationally. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Delaware and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: expanded functions dental assistant , certified registered dental assistant, and orthodontic assistant.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can study to be a dental assistant, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Wilmington area. 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 Wilmington 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

Harcum College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College, 750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470. Harcum College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 913 students and an admission rate of 29%. Harcum College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

All-State Career School - Lester, PA

All-State Career School, 501 Seminole St, Lester, PA 19029. All-State Career School is a small school located in Lester, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 368 students. All-State Career School has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.

Manor College - Jenkintown, PA

Manor College, 700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046-3399. Manor College is a small college located in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 958 students and an admission rate of 44%. Manor College has an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated five students in 2008.

Delaware Valley Academy of Medical and Dental Assistants - Philadelphia, PA

Delaware Valley Academy of Medical and Dental Assistants, 3330 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19114. Delaware Valley Academy of Medical and Dental Assistants is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 200 students. Delaware Valley Academy of Medical and Dental Assistants has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.

Thompson Institute - Philadelphia, PA

Thompson Institute, 3010 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Thompson Institute is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 966 students. Thompson Institute has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

CHI Institute-Broomall - Broomall, PA

CHI Institute-Broomall, 1991 Sproul Road Suite 42, Broomall, PA 19008. CHI Institute-Broomall is a small school located in Broomall, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 746 students. CHI Institute-Broomall has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifty-three 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: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.