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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Indianapolis, Indiana

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental assistants in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. About 5,300 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Indiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 26% to about 6,680 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for dental assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 35.8% over the next eight years. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

The income of a dental assistant is about $15 hourly or $32,860 annually on average in Indiana. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 annually on average. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Indiana and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: dentist attendant, dental aide, and expanded functions dental assistant .

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


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 Indianapolis 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.


International Business College-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

International Business College-Indianapolis, 7205 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, IN 46256-3954. International Business College-Indianapolis is a small college located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 267 students and an admission rate of 83%. International Business College-Indianapolis has an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant.

Kaplan College-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Kaplan College-Indianapolis, 7302 Woodland Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46278-1736. Kaplan College-Indianapolis is a small college located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,010 students. Kaplan College-Indianapolis has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 136 students in 2008.

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a large university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,300 students and an admission rate of 70%. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.


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.


Limited Certification in Dental X-Ray Procedures

Licensing agency: Indiana State Department of Health
Address: Indoor and Radiologic Health, 2 North Meridian Street, 5th Floor, Indianapolis, IN 46204-3003

Phone: (317) 233-7147
Website: Indiana State Department of Health Indoor and Radiologic Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana photo by File Upload Bot

Indianapolis is situated in Marion County, Indiana. It has a population of over 798,382, which has grown by 2.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Indianapolis, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Indianapolis cost $155,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, seven hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Indianapolis, down from 1,317 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Indianapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Indianapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Indianapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.3%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.