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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. About 3,200 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 38% to about 4,430 people employed. 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.

Income for dental assistants is about $13 hourly or $27,240 yearly on average in Louisiana. Nationally, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Louisiana, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded functions dental assistant , hygiene assistant, and expanded dental assistant.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Baton Rouge area, including two within twenty-five miles of Baton Rouge 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. You can expect to spend a short time studying 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 Baton Rouge 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

Delta College of Arts & Technology - Baton Rouge, LA

Delta College of Arts & Technology, 7380 Exchange Place, Baton Rouge, LA 70806-1529. Delta College of Arts & Technology is a small college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 150 students. Delta College of Arts & Technology has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Ascension College - Gonzales, LA

Ascension College, 320 E Ascension St, Gonzales, LA 70737. Ascension College is a small college located in Gonzales, Louisiana. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 150 students and an admission rate of 68%. Ascension College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-nine 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: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana photo by Anrie

Baton Rouge is situated in East Baton Rouge Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 223,689, which has shrunk by 1.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baton Rouge, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Baton Rouge are priced at $189,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Baton Rouge, down from two hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baton Rouge are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 31.7% of Baton Rouge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baton Rouge is 7.1%, which is the same as Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Baton Rouge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hughes United Methodist Church and Straight Life Baptist Church are all churches located in Baton Rouge. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge Industrial Park and the Baton Rouge Country Club as well as Howell Park and Independence Park. Shopping centers in the area include Carriage Alley Shopping Center, Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center and Foret and McCall Shopping Center. Visitors to Baton Rouge can choose from Pines Motel, Motel 6 and Shoneys Inn & Suites Baton Rouge for temporary stays in the area.