How to Become a Dental Assistant in St. Louis
St. Louis Missouri is an inland port located alongside the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, as well as the 20th largest city in the United States. It is known as the cultural and economic center of the state and also known for its service industry, trading and tourism. St. Louis houses ten Fortune 500 companies, including Emerson Electric. Other significant companies in St. Louis include Anheuser-Busch, Boeing Defense, Panera, Pfizer and Purina. The city is also considered a center for healthcare and medicine. There are numerous careers to consider holding in St. Louis, and one of those is dental assisting.
Dental assistants help dentists perform dental procedures on patients. They are also usually the ones responsible for prepping both the patient and the exam room. Other tasks they may be responsible for include taking X-rays, scheduling appointments and keeping detailed records for patients.
St. Louis Dental Assistant Programs
Each state sets different specifications for becoming a dental assistant. You can find the requirements for Missouri by clicking here. Completing a formal dental assistant training program is usually required by most states. Here are a couple of programs that may be of interest to you in St. Louis.
- Midwest Institute. The dental assistant training program at Midwest Institute is accredited and approved by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). The classes are hands-on, and students receive instruction and training in a dental laboratory designed like a real dentist’s office. In addition to courses that are specific to the program, students will learn time management, communication skills, proactivity, observation and organization. This program can be taken during the day or at night and can be completed in about 32 weeks through day classes or 48 weeks when taking evening classes. The Midwest Institute is approximately a 10-minute drive from the St. Louis Children’s Museum and about 25 minutes from Forest Park.
- St. Louis Community College. This program trains students to work as a part of a dental team through classroom instruction and lab and clinical practice. This program is approved by the DANB, and graduates will be prepared to take the certification exam. It consists of 45 credit hours and is taken over a year, or one fall, spring and summer semester. Students will take general ed classes in addition to dental assisting courses. St. Louis Community College is less than a mile from several hotspots in St. Louis including the Campbell House Museum, the National Blues Museum, the Central Public Library, the Old Courthouse, the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium (home of the St. Louis Cardinals).
Salary and Job Outlook for St. Louis
The career of dental assisting is projected to see a 14.3 increase in the state of Missouri between 2016 and 2026. Close to 800 dental assisting jobs are expected to become available in the state during this time.
Dental assistants in St. Louis make an hourly average of $17.24, or a yearly average of $35,870. The top earners in the city earn just over $49,000 annually.
Working as a Dental Assistant in St. Louis
Dental assistants mainly work in dental and orthodontic practices. Some dental practices that you might consider working at in St. Louis include Aspen Dental, Elite Dental Partners and Heartland Dental. There are several educational and work opportunities for dental assistants in the city.
St. Louis is also home to a Major League Baseball team, National Hockey League team and several museums, gardens, zoos and historical parks. Therefore, there are lots of things to do when you are not working. If you are interested in a secure, well-paying job, then you should consider working as a dental assistant in St. Louis.