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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Naperville, Illinois

For those living in the Naperville, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for dental assistants. About 12,630 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 38% to about 17,480 people employed. This is better than 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 $15 hourly or $31,420 annually on average in Illinois and about $15 per hour or $32,380 annually on average nationally. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Illinois, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: expanded duty dental assistant, dentist attendant, and orthodontic assistant.

The Naperville area is home to 166 schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Naperville where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. Given that the most common education level for dental assistants is a post-secondary certificate, it will take a short time to learn 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 Naperville 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

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-three and nine students respectively in 2008.

Illinois School of Health Careers - Chicago, IL

Illinois School of Health Careers, 11 East Adams St. Ste 200, Chicago, IL 60603. Illinois School of Health Careers is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 175 students. Illinois School of Health Careers has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventy-seven students in 2008.

Everest College-Chicago - Chicago, IL

Everest College-Chicago, 247 South State Street #400, Chicago, IL 60604. Everest College-Chicago is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 596 students and an admission rate of 48%. Everest College-Chicago has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventy-nine students in 2008.

Everest College-Burr Ridge - Burr Ridge, IL

Everest College-Burr Ridge, 6880 N Frontage Rd-Ste 400, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. Everest College-Burr Ridge is a small college located in Burr Ridge, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 446 students and an admission rate of 46%. Everest College-Burr Ridge has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixty-four students in 2008.

Illinois School of Health Careers-O'Hare Campus - Chicago, IL

Illinois School of Health Careers-O'Hare Campus, 8750 W Bryn Mawr Ste 300, Chicago, IL 60631. Illinois School of Health Careers-O'Hare Campus is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 76 students. Illinois School of Health Careers-O'Hare Campus has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett, Chicago, IL 60634-1500. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,677 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated six 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: Naperville, Illinois

Naperville, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois photo by JohnDBuell

Naperville is located in Dupage County, Illinois. It has a population of over 143,117, which has grown by 11.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Naperville, 107, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Naperville are valued at $401,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-four new homes were built in Naperville, down from two hundred eighty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Naperville are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 33 minutes. More than 60.6% of Naperville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 23.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Naperville is 8.1%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Naperville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Saint Thomas The Apostle Church and Bethany Church are some of the churches located in Naperville. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Naperville is home to the High Grove Business Park and the Spring Brook Golf Course as well as Du Page River Park and Winding Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pebblewood Plaza Shopping Center, Cress Creek Square Shopping Center and Cress Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Naperville can choose from Fairfield Inn by Marriott, EXEL Inns of Chicago and Country Inn Suites Naperville for temporary stays in the area.