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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Nashua, New Hampshire

Dental assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Nashua, New Hampshire area. There are currently 1,240 jobs for dental assistants in New Hampshire and this is projected to grow by 35% to 1,670 jobs 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.

A person working as a dental assistant can expect to earn about $19 per hour or $40,990 annually on average in New Hampshire and about $15 hourly or $32,380 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in New Hampshire earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded functions dental assistant , expanded dental assistant, and dental office manager.

The Nashua area is home to fifty-seven schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Nashua where you can get a degree 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 Nashua 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

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

NHTI-Concord's Community College - Concord, NH

NHTI-Concord's Community College, 31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412. NHTI-Concord's Community College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,646 students and an admission rate of 73%. NHTI-Concord's Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated six and five 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Nashua is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 86,576. The cost of living index in Nashua, 119, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Nashua are valued at $175,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were constructed in Nashua, down from seventy-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashua are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 31.5% of Nashua residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nashua is 7.5%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Nashua residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and Trinity Baptist Church are among the churches located in Nashua. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Nashua is home to the Hillsborough County Courthouse and the Goodhue Memorial Library as well as Deschenes Oval and Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Amherst Street Mall Shopping Center, Royal Ridge Mall Shopping Center and Nashua Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Nashua can choose from Chalet Susse Motor Lodge, Crowne Plaza Nashua and Speaker's Corner Restaurant for temporary stays in the area.