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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Springfield, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for dental assistants in the Springfield, Illinois area. There are currently 12,630 jobs for dental assistants in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 38% to about 17,480 jobs by 2016. 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 hourly or $31,420 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year on average. Earnings for dental assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Illinois and better than general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: dental aide, certified registered dental assistant, and expanded duties dental assistant .

There are nine schools of higher education in the Springfield area, including one within twenty-five miles of Springfield 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. 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 Springfield 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

Midwest Technical Institute - Springfield, IL

Midwest Technical Institute, 2731 Farmers Market Road, Springfield, IL 62707. Midwest Technical Institute is a small school located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 593 students. Midwest Technical Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-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: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.