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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. About 4,370 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 30% to about 5,690 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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 approximately $17 per hour or $36,730 annually on average in Oregon. Nationally they average about $15 hourly or $32,380 annually. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Oregon and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: registered dental assistant , surgical dental assistant, and dentist attendant.

The Eugene area is home to seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Eugene where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. Dental assistants usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so 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 Eugene 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Assistant Training

Lane Community College - Eugene, OR

Lane Community College, 4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405-0640. Lane Community College is a large college located in Eugene, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,290 students. Lane 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.

LICENSES

Dental Assistant Certification

Licensing agency: Oregon Board of Dentistry
Address: 1600 SW 4th Ave, Suite 770, Portland, OR 97201

Phone: (503) 229-5520
Website: Oregon Board of Dentistry

LOCATION INFORMATION: Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon photo by Ccmpg

Eugene is located in Lane County, Oregon. It has a population of over 150,104, which has grown by 8.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Eugene, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Eugene cost $197,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-one new homes were constructed in Eugene, down from two hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Eugene are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 37.3% of Eugene residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Eugene is 9.9%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Eugene residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 24.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Eugene is home to the Eugene Country Club and the Balboa Park Drag Strip as well as Acorn City Park and Monroe City Park. Visitors to Eugene can choose from Hawthorn Inn & Suites, Best Value Inn and Marriott Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.