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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Mesquite, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental assistants in the Mesquite, Texas area. Currently, 18,190 people work as dental assistants in Texas. This is expected to grow 38% to 25,070 people by 2016. This is better than 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.

A person working as a dental assistant can expect to earn about $14 per hour or $30,990 yearly on average in Texas and about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded dental assistant, expanded duties dental assistant , and orthodontist assistant.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Mesquite area, including five within twenty-five miles of Mesquite where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Mesquite 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.

High-Tech Institute-Dallas - Irving, TX

High-Tech Institute-Dallas, 4250 N Beltline Road, Irving, TX 75038. High-Tech Institute-Dallas is a small school located in Irving, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 629 students. High-Tech Institute-Dallas has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated seventy-two 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.

Concorde Career Institute - Arlington, TX

Concorde Career Institute, 600 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76011. Concorde Career Institute is a small school located in Arlington, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 788 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Institute has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated 111 students in 2008.

ATI Career Training Center - Dallas, TX

ATI Career Training Center, 10003 Technology Blvd. West, Dallas, TX 75220-4316. ATI Career Training Center is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,140 students. ATI Career Training Center has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifty-six 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: Mesquite, Texas

Mesquite, Texas
Mesquite, Texas photo by Justin Cozart

Mesquite is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 132,123, which has grown by 6.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Mesquite, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Mesquite cost $155,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were constructed in Mesquite, down from one hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Mesquite are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 18.5% of Mesquite residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Mesquite is 8.2%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Mesquite residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God Christian Assembly, Central Assembly of God Church and Prairie Creek Bible Baptist Church are among the churches located in Mesquite. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Mesquite is home to the Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame Museum and the Town East Centre as well as Mesquite Memorial Stadium and Tosch Park. Visitors to Mesquite can choose from Chet' s Electronic Lock & Repair, Big Town Inn and Classic Inn for temporary stays in the area.