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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. There are currently 7,110 working dental assistants in North Carolina; this should grow by 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%. 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 $16 hourly or $34,370 yearly on average in North Carolina and about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in North Carolina and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: dental aide, dental nurse, and oral and maxiofacial surgical assistant.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of High Point where you can study to be a dental assistant, among twenty-nine schools of higher education total in the High Point area. Dental assistants usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time studying 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 High Point 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.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Salisbury, NC

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd, Salisbury, NC 28146-1595. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a medium sized college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,876 students. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventeen 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: High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina photo by Yassie

High Point is located in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 101,835, which has grown by 18.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in High Point, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in High Point cost $189,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety new homes were constructed in High Point, down from four hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in High Point are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is furniture and related product manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 25.5% of High Point residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in High Point is 11.0%, which is greater than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of High Point residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Hickory Chapel, Mount Carmel Church and Conrad Memorial Church are among the churches located in High Point. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

High Point is home to the Emerywood Country Club and the Uwharrie Council Camp as well as Washington Terrace Park and Armstrong Park. Visitors to High Point can choose from Brookline Furniture CO, Hampton Inn High Point and Fairfield Inn and Stes High Point/Archdl for temporary stays in the area.