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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Reno, Nevada

If you want to be a dental assistant, the Reno, Nevada area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 2,420 people work as dental assistants in Nevada. This is expected to grow by 49% to about 3,600 people 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%. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Income for dental assistants is about $16 hourly or $35,150 yearly on average in Nevada. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Nevada, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded duty dental assistant, hygiene assistant, and orthodontist assistant.

The Reno area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Reno where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. 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.


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 Reno 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.


Truckee Meadows Community College - Reno, NV

Truckee Meadows Community College, 7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, NV 89512-3999. Truckee Meadows Community College is a large college located in Reno, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,277 students. Truckee Meadows Community College has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated ten and six 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.


Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada photo by Smooth_O

Reno is situated in Washoe County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,016, which has grown by 20.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Reno, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Reno are priced at $202,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-seven new homes were built in Reno, down from nine hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Reno are arts, entertainment, and recreation, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is arts, entertainment, and recreation, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.0% of Reno residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Reno is 11.8%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Reno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Reno is home to the Short Ranch and the Keystone Square as well as Wilkinson Park and Paradise Park. Shopping centers in the area include Miraloma Park Shopping Center, Village Shopping Center and University Village East Shopping Center. Visitors to Reno can choose from Oxford Motel, Atlantis Casino Resort and Wayside Motel & Apartments for temporary stays in the area.