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Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Provo, Utah

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for dental assistants in the Provo, Utah area. There are currently 3,950 jobs for dental assistants in Utah and this is projected to grow 53% to 6,030 jobs 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. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.

The income of a dental assistant is about $12 per hour or $26,610 yearly on average in Utah. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,380 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance, people working as dental assistants in Utah earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance nationally. People working as dental assistants can fill a number of jobs, such as: orthodontist assistant, surgical dental assistant, and expanded duty dental assistant.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Provo where you can study to be a dental assistant, among thirty-five schools of higher education total in the Provo area. The most common level of education 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 Provo 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

Careers Unlimited - Orem, UT

Careers Unlimited, 1176 South 1480 West, Orem, UT 84058. Careers Unlimited is a small school located in Orem, Utah. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 75 students and an admission rate of 100%. Careers Unlimited has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.

Provo College - Provo, UT

Provo College, 1450 W 820 N, Provo, UT 84601. Provo College is a small college located in Provo, Utah. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 250 students. Provo College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-two and one students respectively in 2008.

Mountainland Applied Technology College - Orem, UT

Mountainland Applied Technology College, 987 S Geneva Rd, Orem, UT 84058-5857. Mountainland Applied Technology College is a small college located in Orem, Utah. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 310 students. Mountainland Applied Technology College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated thirty-three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Vista College - Salt Lake City, UT

Vista College, 1385 West 2200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84119. Vista College is a small college located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 54 students and an admission rate of 100%. Vista College has a less than one year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Eagle Gate College - Murray, UT

Eagle Gate College, 5588 South Green Street, Murray, UT 84123-6965. Eagle Gate College is a small college located in Murray, Utah. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 349 students. Eagle Gate College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-two and five 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Provo, Utah

Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah photo by Emes

Provo is situated in Utah County, Utah. It has a population of over 118,581, which has grown by 12.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Provo, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Provo cost $296,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in Provo, down from one hundred eighty-one the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Provo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 35.7% of Provo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Provo is 6.4%, which is greater than Utah's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Provo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 89.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are all churches located in Provo. The most prominent religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Assemblies of God.

Provo is home to the Provo Temple and the Lakeside Campground as well as Utah Lake State Park and Cougar Stadium. Visitors to Provo can choose from Amenity Motor Inn, Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast and Travelodge for temporary stays in the area.