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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Orlando, Florida

Dental assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Orlando, Florida area. There are currently 14,630 working dental assistants in Florida; this should grow 32% to 19,320 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.

The income of a dental assistant is about $16 per hour or $33,290 yearly on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year on average. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Florida and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: oral surgery assistant, surgical dental assistant, and expanded duty dental assistant.

There are fifty schools of higher education in the Orlando area, including five within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental assistant. 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 Orlando 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

Americare School of Nursing - Fern Park, FL

Americare School of Nursing, 7275 Estapona Circle, Fern Park, FL 32730-2351. Americare School of Nursing is a small school located in Fern Park, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 327 students. Americare School of Nursing has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

High-Tech Institute-Orlando - Orlando, FL

High-Tech Institute-Orlando, 3710 Maguire Blvd, Orlando, FL 32803. High-Tech Institute-Orlando is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 623 students. High-Tech Institute-Orlando has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twelve and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Orlando Tech - Orlando, FL

Orlando Tech, 301 W Amelia Street, Orlando, FL 32801-1197. Orlando Tech is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,101 students. Orlando Tech has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

Brevard Community College - Cocoa, FL

Brevard Community College, 1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, FL 32922. Brevard Community College is a large college located in Cocoa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,607 students. Brevard Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Americare School of Nursing - St. Petersburg, FL

Americare School of Nursing, 5335 66th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 32730. Americare School of Nursing is a small school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 19 students. Americare School of Nursing has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixteen 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: Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida photo by A3RO

Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.