How to Become a Dental Assistant in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is a fascinating place to live, with a variety of attractions that include barbecue restaurants, jazz venues and museums. The city also offers many career options, including dental assisting.
Dental assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks in a clinic, such as assisting dentists and dental hygienists (see this page for dental hygienist programs in Missouri) during procedures, taking care of equipment and doing administrative work. With many opportunities to upgrade training, dental assistants can also learn to do state-specified procedures under the supervision of a dentist.
Dental Assistant Programs in Kansas City
There are a number of dental assistant programs in Kansas City, as well as neighboring areas.
- Metropolitan Community College. This college located in the Penn Valley area offers two programs for dental assisting: an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Dental Assisting and a Dental Assisting Certificate. The two-year AAS program cost is currently estimated at $10,412.54, while the one-year certificate is $8,132.54 at this time. Tuition is higher for non-resident students.
- Concorde Career Colleges. Concorde’s dental assisting diploma can be earned in as little as eight months. One of the benefits of this program is that it can be completed through day or evening classes. The school is located in downtown Kansas City, making it accessible to students from a number of surrounding cities including Independence, Missouri, and Shawnee, Kansas. Prospective students need to contact the school directly for information including current tuition.
- Keystone Dentistry Dental Assisting School. Located in Belton, less than 25 miles from Kansas City, Keystone Dentistry is still easily accessible. Because it is offered in a clinical environment, this course gives students the opportunity to shadow practicing dental assistants as well as observe dentists and hygienists at work. It is an entry-level program that takes 10 weeks to complete.
Certification and Licensing
In Missouri, dental assisting requires no specific education or training, including for taking x-rays. However, as Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Certified Dental Assistants, there are a number of advanced certifications that can be earned through courses and exams. These allow dental assistants to perform more complicated tasks.
Working as a Dental Assistant in Kansas City
The projected industry growth rate for dental assisting in the state of Missouri is 14.3 percent from 2016 and 2026, which means that roughly 720 positions in the field will open each year. Because of its size and with its proximity to the state border between Missouri and Kansas, Kansas City and the surrounding area offers a large number of those jobs. On both sides of the border, Kansas City also offers respectable wages: In 2017, hourly rates were $19.42 or higher for half of all dental assistants in the city, while half of those on salary earned over $40,000 a year. With this steady income and opportunities for growth, you can rely on a dental assisting as your career.
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