Dental assistants are mainly employed by small dental offices or group practices where the dental assistant salary is often quite competitive. There is a small percentage that works for the state, federal or local government offices as well. The dental assistant salary varies depending on experience, training and which type of dental practice that they work for. There are specialty practices, such as, orthodontics and oral surgery offices that employ the services of dental assistants. You will also find dental assistants working in pediatric dentist offices, whether it be a solo office or a group practice. Dental schools have clinics where dental assistants work to help students learn and practice with real patients who pay a reduced rate for services.
The first person that a patient usually sees after the receptionist and front office staff is the dental assistant. The dental assistant will seat the patient and adjust the equipment and chair for optimum position during the visit. The assistant will address the concerns of the patient while making them feel relaxed and at ease. They work closely with the patient before, during and after their visit to assist with or perform certain procedures. Patients must be reminded and educated about daily teeth hygiene and follow up care for home after their visit. An assistant will take the time to educate, provide options, explain additional services or products to the patient as needed.
The dental assistant salary and work environment is excellent. They work in mainly clean, dry and comfortable medical offices and are not expected to wear uncomfortable gear or lift heavy objects. They do a combination of sitting and standing through out the day while using their manual dexterity and attention to detail skills. There are many benefits to being in this field and as the need for dental assistants continuously increase, so does the dental assistant salary and job opportunities.
Along with an excellent dental assistant salary, benefits are typically good as well. Although benefits vary depending on the dental office or place or work, they usually include, sick days, paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, along with 401k. Tuition re-reimbursement is a common benefit for dental assistants, along with a company matched 401k or bonus programs. The flexible schedule which typically involves weekends and evenings off, has many options for full time, part time, or for a few full days per week. Finding a rewarding opportunity in this field with a great starting dental assistant salary is well within reach.