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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dental assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are currently 5,390 working dental assistants in Minnesota; this should grow 27% to about 6,860 working dental assistants in the state by 2016. 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. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn about $19 per hour or $39,790 per year on average in Minnesota and about $15 hourly or $32,380 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Minnesota earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: dental nurse, dental office manager, and expanded duty dental assistant.

There are eighty schools of higher education in the Minneapolis area, including five within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental assistant. 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

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 Minneapolis 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

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-three and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated three and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Herzing College - Minneapolis, MN

Herzing College, 5700 W Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55428-3548. Herzing College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 284 students and an admission rate of 100%. Herzing College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifty-five and ten students respectively in 2008.

Century Community and Technical College - White Bear Lake, MN

Century Community and Technical College, 3300 Century Ave N, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Century Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,384 students. Century Community and Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-seven and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park, MN

Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Hennepin Technical College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,617 students. Hennepin Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated nine and forty-one students respectively 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.

LICENSES

Dentists; Dental Hygienist; Dental Assistant

Licensing agency: Dentistry, Minnesota Board of
Address: 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 450, Minneapolis, MN 55414-3249

Phone: (612) 617-2250
Website: Dentistry, Minnesota Board of

LOCATION INFORMATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.