A dental assistant plays an important role in the delivery of dental procedures and treatments. Working under the supervision of a dentist, the assistant works with the dentist during procedures and oral surgery. The assistant is responsible for preparing and arranging instruments and tools, along with handing the necessary equipment and tools to the dentist, while providing other required assistance during the procedure. Other duties will include, sterilization of equipment and record keeping. Many dental assistants also receive certification in radiology for taking and completing x-rays. They also help with office duties, including welcoming the patient and billing and insurance procedures.
Salary for Dental Assistants in Phoenix
The annual mean wage for dental assistants in the Phoenix area is around $36,520 a year. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.) Depending upon education, dental assistants with a diploma or certificate from dental assistant school in Arizona will earn from $25,000 to $46,000 per year. Dental assistants who have obtained a degree from a two year college can expect to earn a higher salary.
Programs for Dental Assistants
Dental assistant programs include theory and application in the fundamentals of dental practices. Students will be introduces to the science of dentistry and also will become certified in CPR. Students will be expected to perform hands-on training, working with dental instruments and equipment, along with set-up of trays. Teaching also includes dental health, lab procedures and office administration. The Diploma program prepares the student for an entry-level position working as a dental assistant. Chair-side skills and office duties are taught in the dental office under the supervision of the dentist and other dental staff. Students who complete the Associate of Science Degree program are more qualified to expand their job search with more knowledge of dental education along with skills in communication. Externship is a common practice with dental assistants. This is unpaid training in a dental office for gaining experience and can often lead to a full-time position. This is done after all classroom training has been successfully completed.
Dental Assistant Job Opportunities in Phoenix
Job growth in this field continues to grow rapidly in Phoenix. It is believed to be one of the fastest growing professions with rapid growth expected throughout the next ten years. In fact, Phoenix is one of the top ten metropolitan areas with the highest employment levels in the country. According to recent government reports, there are over 4,400 dental assistants employed in and around Phoenix. Most dental assistants gain employment in dental practices, but there are more opportunities available for these positions. Some choose to work in dental clinics, county health departments or find opportunities in specialty offices such as pediatric or orthodontics.
Dental Assistant Schools in or near Phoenix
Arizona College prepares students to work in the “real world” of medicine. With the use of lecture and laboratory teaching, we provide our students with hands on experience. Arizona College also provides job placement services including interview techniques and preparing resumes.
Students at Arizona College can take advantage of many benefits. Arizona College students can get their resumes updated and receive job placement assistance at no charge. Whether looking for a part-time “survival” job while going through school, hoping for the right externship or looking for placement upon graduation, career development is available to help students through their search.
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