Most dental assistant schools in Portland are approximately one year and when completed the student receives a diploma and is eligible to take the State Board exam for certification. Dental assistant certification exams consist of three major components. They are General Chair side, Infection Control and Radiation Health and Safety. Colleges also offer this training with graduates receiving an Associate Degree. With this degree the student becomes registered in dental assisting with opportunities for advanced specialty careers in dental assistance. Training includes education in administrative tasks, clinical procedures and laboratory. Students learn chair-side assistance as well as office skills and oral hygiene. When this training is completed the student will be required to perform externship working in a dental office or other dental facility. This will begin their start of a rewarding career.
Average Salary for Dental Assistants in Portland
Certified dental assistants in Oregon make an average of $38,000 with pay increases up to $48,000 for the top ten percent of earners with sufficient experience and education credentials. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.) Most dentists offer paid vacation, paid sick days and paid holidays along with insurance benefits.
Dental Assistant Schools in or near Portland
Dental Assistant Job Characteristics
Dental assistants are a significant part of the dental team. Their jobs include a wide variety of different tasks. The Journal of the American Dental Association reports that the duties of a dental assistant are among the most varied and comprehensive in the office of a dentist. Duties include assisting dentists, preparing supplies, suctioning, removal of sutures, applying anesthetics topically, temporary crown making and applying, x-rays, appointment setting, answering phones, billing, patient records maintenance, taking impressions and other various tasks. Working in a comfortable and clean setting, dental assistants are required to wear protective devices such as gloves, eyewear and masks when they are working with patients to protect the patient from infections and to protect themselves. Dentists expect their assistants to be well trained in professionalism as they represent the dentist’s practice. Excellent communication skills and a calm, caring attitude must be maintained as many patients are tense and nervous during dental procedures.
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