Most of the five schools with accredited dental care assistant programs in the state of Oklahoma are technology centers, which are designed to provide technical training programs to their respective communities. Two of them–Francis Tuttle Technology Center and Metro Technology Center–are based in Oklahoma City, the state capital and largest city. The other technology centers are Moore Norman Technology Center in Norman; and Western Technology Center at its Weatherford campus. The fifth school is a community college called Rose State College, which is based in Midwest City.
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Dental Assistant Schools in OklahomaAll the aforementioned schools provide a certificate or diploma in dental assisting. The curriculum is designed for completion within 10 to 12 months. In the certificate/diploma program, students are trained in the basics of the field, such as medical terminology, dental radiography, chairside functions, and oral hygiene. Rose State College is the only one of the five dental assisting schools to provide the additional choice of getting an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Dental Assisting. A two-year program, the A.A.S. degree usually has more advanced classes in certain subject areas and additional clinical classes for giving the students hands-on experience. Also added to the curriculum are more general education requirements, which can be in math, English composition, biology, or the humanities. After graduation from the dental assisting program, students can sit for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exams and become Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs).
Salaries for Dental Assistants in OklahomaAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dental care assistants in Oklahoma had an annual mean wage of $29,680, or $14.27 per hour, in 2012. At $31,370 ($15.08 per hour), the northeastern Oklahoma metro area had the annual wage of the state for this profession. By comparison, the national mean annual salary for dental care assistants was $35,080 ($16.86 per hour) that same year. There were 3,720 dental care assistants in Oklahoma in 2010, and the BLS expects a 15 percent increase in employment between 2010 and 2020.
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