Dental assistants perform a variety of important tasks which are paramount to the daily operation of a dental office and the dental assistant salary can be very competitive. They are a dentist’s extra set of hands while the dentist is focusing on the patient’s dental procedure. The dental assistant prepares and coordinates the instruments, patient’s records, and is responsible for the education of the patient about pre and post-operative oral hygiene, amongst other various dental health duties. The dental assistant salary can be a very attractive reason to enter the field and the growth opportunities are broad.
Some of the dental assistant’s daily responsibilities include caring for the equipment that is used for patient care and working directly with the patients by making them feel more comfortable before their appointment. They also obtain and update the patient’s medical record. Dental assistants help dentists by preparing and handing them the correct materials or instruments during a procedure. As you can see, they are vital to a dentist’s office. The dental assistant salary varies depending on the geographical area and experience, however, the mid range salary was a little over $32,000 annually in 2009.
Some assistants have lab permissions, depending on their training, where they make makes casts of teeth from dental impressions, or make temporary crowns. Many dental assistants, as directing by the dentist, perform dental X rays as well. Knowledge of the machines, materials, and instruments used in the dental field and the proper handling and caring of them is taught during their training to prepare them for their dental support role. Starting on the path to earning a dental assistant salary begins with a love for the medical field and the proper training. They also have many opportunities to grow in the field with additional certifications and schooling.
The dental assistant salary typically starts at approximately $12.00 an hour for a recent graduate and it can exceed $20.00 an hour with sustained experience or additional training. Many assistants enjoy weekends off and traditional Monday through Friday day-time work hours. The work environment is a clean and comfortable office and lab. They must also protect themselves from possible infectious diseases when working with a patient by wearing gloves, masks and protective clothing. The dental assistant is frequently situated in a chair in close proximity to the dentist and the patient. The assistant helps the dentist with the necessary tasks that are required during the visit.
If you’re interested in an exciting career in this field and the opportunity to earn a dental assistant salary, feel free to browse our resources to learn more. Also, here is a great video detailing more about what’s involved in becoming a dental assistant:
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