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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Richardson, Texas

If you want to be a dental assistant, the Richardson, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 18,190 people are currently employed as dental assistants in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 38% to about 25,070 people employed. 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 hourly or $30,990 annually on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 yearly on average. 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. Dental assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: dental nurse, registered dental assistant , and certified registered dental assistant.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the Richardson area, including five within twenty-five miles of Richardson where you can get a degree to start your career as a dental assistant. Given that the most common education level 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 Richardson 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: Richardson, Texas

Richardson, Texas
Richardson, Texas photo by Infrogmation

Richardson is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 101,589, which has grown by 10.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Richardson, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Richardson are priced at $210,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Richardson, down from one hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Richardson are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 47.7% of Richardson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Richardson is 7.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Richardson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Baptist Church, Richardson East Baptist Church and Richland Bible Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Richardson. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Richardson is home to Canyon Creek Park and Berkner Park. Visitors to Richardson can choose from Comfort Inn, Best Western Dallas Telecom Area and Champ Restaurant Equipment Supplies for temporary stays in the area.