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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Las Vegas, Nevada

If you want to be a dental assistant, the Las Vegas, Nevada area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 2,420 working dental assistants in Nevada; this should grow by 49% to 3,600 working dental assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental assistants are expected to grow by about 35.8%. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn about $16 hourly or $35,150 yearly on average in Nevada and about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year on average nationally. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Nevada and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: surgical dental assistant, oral and maxiofacial surgical assistant, and registered dental assistant .

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Las Vegas where you can study to be a dental assistant, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Las Vegas area. Dental assistants usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Las Vegas 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

High-Tech Institute-Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV

High-Tech Institute-Las Vegas, 2320 S Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89102. High-Tech Institute-Las Vegas is a small school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 632 students. High-Tech Institute-Las Vegas has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-three and nine students respectively in 2008.

Institute of Professional Careers - Las Vegas, NV

Institute of Professional Careers, 4472 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Institute of Professional Careers is a small school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1 student. Institute of Professional Careers has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated ten students in 2008.

Northwest Health Careers - Las Vegas, NV

Northwest Health Careers, 7398 Smoke Ranch Road, Ste 100, Las Vegas, NV 89128. Northwest Health Careers is a small school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 144 students. Northwest Health Careers has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated nine students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Las Vegas, NV

Pima Medical Institute, 3333 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 817 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixty-one 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: Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Lasvegaslover

Las Vegas is located in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 558,383, which has grown by 16.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Vegas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Vegas are priced at $111,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,085 new homes were constructed in Las Vegas, down from 2,356 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Las Vegas are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 18.2% of Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Las Vegas is 13.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Las Vegas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Las Vegas is home to the Tule Springs and the Union Pacific Station as well as Jaycee Park and Dexter Park. Shopping centers in the area include Spanish Oaks Shopping Center, Wonderland East Shopping Center and Shadow Hills Shopping Center. Visitors to Las Vegas can choose from Doubletree Club Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Gambler and MGM Grand Hotel Casino-The City of Entertainment - Human Resources for temporary stays in the area.