Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Wichita, Kansas
Dental assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Wichita, Kansas. The national trend for dental assistants 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.
Income for dental assistants is about $14 per hour or $30,960 annually on average in Kansas. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Kansas and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: expanded duties dental assistant , expanded duty dental assistant, and orthodontist assistant.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Wichita where you can study to be a dental assistant, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Wichita area. 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
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 Wichita 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
Wichita Area Technical College - Wichita, KS
Wichita Area Technical College, 301 South Grove, Wichita, KS 67211-2099. Wichita Area Technical College is a small college located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,842 students. Wichita Area Technical College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twelve 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is located in Sedgwick County, Kansas. It has a population of over 366,046, which has grown by 6.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Wichita, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Wichita cost $106,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,012 new homes were constructed in Wichita, down from 1,248 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Wichita are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.3% of Wichita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Wichita is 8.8%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.
The percentage of Wichita residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Mizpah Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Wichita. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Wichita is home to the Pleasant Valley and the Wichita Plaza as well as Hyde Park and Watson Park. Shopping centers in the area include Central Heights Shopping Mall, Airpark Shopping Center and Sweetbriar Shopping Center. Visitors to Wichita can choose from Afton Motel, Hampton Inn Wichita-East and Corral Motel for temporary stays in the area.