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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in McKinney, Texas

If you want to be a dental assistant, the McKinney, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 18,190 working dental assistants in Texas; this should grow by 38% to about 25,070 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.

The income of a dental assistant is about $14 per hour or $30,990 yearly on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year on average. Earnings for dental assistants are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Texas and better than general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: orthodontic assistant, hygiene assistant, and expanded dental assistant.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of McKinney where you can study to be a dental assistant, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the McKinney area. 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 McKinney 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

Southeastern Career Institute - Dallas, TX

Southeastern Career Institute, 12005 Ford Road, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75234. Southeastern Career Institute is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 321 students. Southeastern Career Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Platt College - Dallas, TX

Platt College, 2974 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75234. Platt College is a small college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 195 students and an admission rate of 76%. Platt College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-one 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: McKinney, Texas

McKinney, Texas
McKinney, Texas photo by Agriffin

Mckinney is situated in Collin County, Texas. It has a population of over 121,211, which has grown by 122.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mckinney, 90, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Mckinney are valued at $168,500 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, nine hundred eighty-seven new homes were built in Mckinney, down from 1,662 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Mckinney are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 39.1% of Mckinney residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mckinney is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mckinney residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Eternity Community Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Mckinney. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mckinney is home to the Estes House and the A M Scott House as well as Mouzon Park and Murphy Park.