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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

There are many career and education opportunities for dental assistants in the Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee area. There are currently 5,020 working dental assistants in Tennessee; this should grow by 25% to about 6,260 working dental assistants in the state 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. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn about $14 per hour or $29,910 annually on average in Tennessee and about $15 hourly or $32,380 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Tennessee earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: dental aide, certified dental assistant , and oral surgery assistant.

There are fifty schools of higher education in the Nashville-Davidson area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Nashville-Davidson where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental assistant. The most common level of education for dental assistants is a post-secondary certificate. 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 Nashville-Davidson 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Assistant Training

Remington College-Nashville Campus - Nashville, TN

Remington College-Nashville Campus, 441 Donelson Pk Ste 150, Nashville, TN 37214. Remington College-Nashville Campus is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 351 students and an admission rate of 70%. Remington College-Nashville Campus has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eighty-seven students in 2008.

Draughons Junior College Inc - Nashville, TN

Draughons Junior College Inc, 340 Plus Park Blvd, Nashville, TN 37217. Draughons Junior College Inc is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 450 students. Draughons Junior College Inc has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated zero, seven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Volunteer State Community College - Gallatin, TN

Volunteer State Community College, 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, TN 37066-3188. Volunteer State Community College is a medium sized college located in Gallatin, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 7,241 students and an admission rate of 100%. Volunteer State Community College has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro, 1303 Old Fort Pky, Murfreesboro, TN 37129-3311. Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro is a small school located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 284 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated eleven students in 2008.

High-Tech Institute-Nashville - Nashville, TN

High-Tech Institute-Nashville, 560 Royal Parkway, Nashville, TN 37211. High-Tech Institute-Nashville is a small school located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 648 students. High-Tech Institute-Nashville has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated sixteen and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Draughons Junior College - Clarksville, TN

Draughons Junior College, 1860 Wilma Rudolph Blvd, Clarksville, TN 37040-6718. Draughons Junior College is a small college located in Clarksville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 539 students. Draughons Junior College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated zero, forty-one, and seven students respectively in 2008.

Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN

Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro, 415 Golden Bear Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37128. Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro is a small college located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 570 students. Draughons Junior College-Murfreesboro has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated zero, twenty-two, and three 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.

LICENSES

DENTAL ASSISTANT

Licensing agency: Board of Dentistry
Address: Division of Health Related Boards, Department of Health, Cordell Hull Bldg 1st Floor, 425 Fifth Av North, Nashville, TN 37247-1010

Phone: (615) 532-3202
Website: Board of Dentistry Division of Health Related Boards Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee photo by Kaldari

Nashville-Davidson is located in Williamson County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 596,462, which has grown by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Nashville-Davidson, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nashville-Davidson are priced at $196,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,483 new homes were constructed in Nashville-Davidson, down from 3,070 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashville-Davidson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 29.7% of Nashville-Davidson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Nashville-Davidson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.