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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Greensboro, North Carolina

Dental assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Greensboro, North Carolina. There are currently 7,110 working dental assistants in North Carolina; this should grow 36% to about 9,670 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%. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn approximately $16 per hour or $34,370 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $32,380 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: certified dental assistant , hygiene assistant, and dental office manager.

The Greensboro area is home to thirty schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Greensboro where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. The most common level of education 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 Greensboro 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

Forsyth Technical Community College - Winston Salem, NC

Forsyth Technical Community College, 2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, NC 27103-5197. Forsyth Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,748 students. Forsyth Technical Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Alamance Community College - Graham, NC

Alamance Community College, 1247 Jimmie Kerr Road, Graham, NC 27253-8000. Alamance Community College is a small college located in Graham, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,607 students. Alamance Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-two 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: Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina photo by Yassie

Greensboro is situated in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 250,642, which has grown by 11.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Greensboro, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Greensboro are priced at $140,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seven hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Greensboro, down from 1,516 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Greensboro are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 33.9% of Greensboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Greensboro is 10.5%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Greensboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Muirs Chapel, Mount Tabor Church and Bass Chapel are all churches located in Greensboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Greensboro is home to the Holden Plaza and the English Market as well as Shannon Woods Park and Lake Daniel Park. Shopping centers in the area include Greenbriar Mall, Golden Gate Shopping Center and Carolina Circle Shopping Mall. Visitors to Greensboro can choose from Greensboro Days Inn, Execustay by Marriot and Biltmore Hotel for temporary stays in the area.