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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Olathe, Kansas

If you want to be a dental assistant, the Olathe, Kansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for dental assistants 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.

A person working as a dental assistant can expect to earn about $14 per hour or $30,960 annually on average in Kansas and about $15 hourly or $32,380 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Kansas, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: orthodontist assistant, certified dental assistant , and registered dental assistant .

The Olathe area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Olathe where you can get a degree 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.


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 Olathe 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.


Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley - Kansas City, MO

Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, 3201 SW Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64111-2429. Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley is a small college located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,340 students. Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fourteen and four students respectively in 2008.

High-Tech Institute-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

High-Tech Institute-Kansas City, 9001 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114. High-Tech Institute-Kansas City is a small school located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 289 students. High-Tech Institute-Kansas City has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-five and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Concorde Career Colleges - Kansas City, MO

Concorde Career Colleges, 3239 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111. Concorde Career Colleges is a small college located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 633 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Colleges has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 101 and zero students respectively 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.


Olathe, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas photo by Ichabod

Olathe is situated in Johnson County, Kansas. It has a population of over 119,993, which has grown by 29.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Olathe, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Olathe are priced at $315,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred fifty-two new homes were constructed in Olathe, down from five hundred ninety-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Olathe are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.9% of Olathe residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Olathe is 6.7%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Olathe residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Shopping malls in the area include Twin Trail Shopping Center, East Gate Shopping Center and Gibson Shopping Center. Visitors to Olathe can choose from Microtel Inn Olathe, Sleep Inn Olathe and Grid Iron Sports Bar for temporary stays in the area.