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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Midland, Texas

Midland, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. There are currently 18,190 jobs for dental assistants in Texas and this is projected to grow by 38% to about 25,070 jobs 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%. In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

Dental assistants earn about $14 per hour or $30,990 per year on average in Texas and about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average nationally. Dental assistants earn more than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Texas and more than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: expanded duties dental assistant , hygiene assistant, and oral and maxiofacial surgical assistant.

There are five schools of higher education in the Midland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Midland where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental assistant. 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 Midland 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-Midland - Midland, TX

Southeastern Career Institute-Midland, Westwood Village Shopping Center, 4320 W. Illinois, Midland, TX 79703. Southeastern Career Institute-Midland is a small school located in Midland, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 363 students. Southeastern Career Institute-Midland has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated fifty-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: Midland, Texas

Midland, Texas
Midland, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Midland is situated in Midland County, Texas. It has a population of over 106,561, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Midland, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Midland cost $117,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred eighty-three new homes were built in Midland, down from five hundred fourteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Midland are health care, educational services, and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. For men, it is mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 27.2% of Midland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Midland is 5.7%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Midland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.5%, is more than both the national and state average. Alamo Heights Church, Ellis Chapel North Church and Primera Iglesia Bautista Church are among the churches located in Midland. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Midland is home to the Windmill Number Three and the Ranchland Hills Country Club as well as Tolbert Park and Doug Russell Park. Visitors to Midland can choose from Best Inn & Suites - Harrys Bar & Grill, Bradford Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.