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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Atlanta, Georgia

Dental assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Atlanta, Georgia. About 6,960 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Georgia. By 2016, this is expected to grow 36% to 9,490 people employed. This is better than the national trend for dental assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 35.8% over the next eight years. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

The income of a dental assistant is about $15 per hour or $32,900 annually on average in Georgia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Georgia earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: certified dental assistant , registered dental assistant , and hygiene assistant.

There are ninety-one schools of higher education in the Atlanta area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Atlanta where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Atlanta 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

Advanced Career Training-Atlanta Campus - Atlanta, GA

Advanced Career Training-Atlanta Campus, 2 Executive Park West Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30329. Advanced Career Training-Atlanta Campus is a small school located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 1,456 students and an admission rate of 98%. Advanced Career Training-Atlanta Campus has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 182 students in 2008.

Everest Institute-Norcross - Norcross, GA

Everest Institute-Norcross, 1750 Beaver Ruin Rd-Ste 500, Norcross, GA 30093. Everest Institute-Norcross is a small school located in Norcross, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 271 students and an admission rate of 44%. Everest Institute-Norcross has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated ninety-two students in 2008.

Gwinnett Technical College - Lawrenceville, GA

Gwinnett Technical College, 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5702. Gwinnett Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,299 students. Gwinnett Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-one and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Griffin Technical College - Griffin, GA

Griffin Technical College, 501 Varsity Rd, Griffin, GA 30223-2042. Griffin Technical College is a small college located in Griffin, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,162 students. Griffin Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fourteen and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

Lanier Technical College - Oakwood, GA

Lanier Technical College, 2990 Landrum Education Dr, Oakwood, GA 30566. Lanier Technical College is a small college located in Oakwood, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,168 students. Lanier Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated five and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Everest Institute-Jonesboro - Jonesboro, GA

Everest Institute-Jonesboro, 6431 Tara Blvd, Jonesboro, GA 30236-1214. Everest Institute-Jonesboro is a small school located in Jonesboro, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 963 students and an admission rate of 40%. Everest Institute-Jonesboro has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

Atlanta Technical College - Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Pky SW, Atlanta, GA 30310-4446. Atlanta Technical College is a small college located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,293 students. Atlanta Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventeen and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Medix School - Smyrna, GA

Medix School, 2108 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna, GA 30080-7630. Medix School is a small school located in Smyrna, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 743 students and an admission rate of 100%. Medix School has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 165 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.

LICENSES

Dental Assistants

Licensing agency: Dental Assisting National Board
Address: 676 N. St. Clair, Suite 1880, Chicago, IL 60611-9796

Phone: (800) 367-3262
Website: Dental Assisting National Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.