What is a dental assistant?
As a dental assistant, your main role is to provide the dental operator with the necessary tools for the dental procedure, as well as to prepare the patient to face all the dental procedures. A dental assistant is the main link between a dental operator and the patient, and he or she has to be assured that all is in his place.
To provide a more efficient treatment, the dental assistant has to make sure that the instruments and all equipment is sterilized. At the same time, he must accomplish all the required procedures such as passing instruments, fabricating all the provisional crowns, holding the necessary suction devices, and taking impressions. With other words, a dental assistant fulfills many tasks and plays an important role in a patient’s life by instructing patients how to have a proper hygiene after living the dentist office.
Job description of a dental assistant
Apart from the mentioned duties the daily chores of a dental assistant go around the work environment. They will disinfect the instruments, set up the tray with the instruments, and they will make sure that everything around is clean and with fewer factors of risks like getting an infection.
A dental assistant will prepare the materials that are needed for each procedure while they will assist the dentist with everything that he requires. These professionals have to do at the same time some administrative duties such as recording each patient’s treatment in their medical recordings. Dental assistants must also expose dental diagnostic x-rays, inform themselves on the medical histories of each patient that they have and record every change that is done in the treatment plan or how the things evolved. As dental assistants, they will mainly schedule appointments, prepare bills and at the same time receive the money for the dental services that they worked at, use the computer.
They will offer as well postoperative information and instructions that were prescribed by the dentist, assist the dentist with any emergency situation that comes around.
Working as a dental assistant you’ll get the chance as well to be involved in every patient’s life, by informing them how to keep their teeth healthy and clean. You will also prepare them on how to keep the plague under control by coming to plague control programs.
The job summary of a dental assistant is very long since it has to fulfill all these tasks and spend a lot of time on his feet. These professionals should also be able to connect with their patients, have enough patience and try to explain in a calm manner each and every procedure. They should also pay attention to the small details and be able to transmit and to collect information.
It’s a work that assumes a lot of responsibility and attention to the details, because working as a dental assistant you’ll have to clean and polish appliances. During your work, you also need to apply protective coating, assemble temporary restorations and clean a lot the patients’ teeth.
How to become a dental assistant?
The educational and training requirements, which are for a dental assistant, are short compared with other medical fields. The formal education that one person needs to acquire in order to become a dental assistant usually takes place at community colleges, vocational schools, universities even dental schools.
Those, who complete these academic training programs, will receive certificates that will help the advance later on in this field of finding a job. You can find varied option where you could study and graduate this kind of academic dental assistant program. Many of them will provide you with a length of nine and up to eleven months completion. Also, some will offer accelerated training program or via distance, so mainly it’s up to you to find a practice program that will suit you.
Make sure though that the academic training program, which you follow, is accredited by CODA (also known as the Commission on Dental Accreditation). As a dental assistant, you can become accredited only if took an examination that has the purpose of evaluating how much you know. If you choose to become nationally certified, you’ll have to pass the DANB or else known as the Dental Assisting National Board’s exam. Alternatively, you can pass the CDA else known as the Certified Dental Assistant examination that will attest that you are competently prepared to assist the dental care.
In order to take the CDA examination, you have to complete first a training program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. If, for instance, you have been trained on the job or if your program, which you graduated from, was not accredited you can take the national certification examination. However, this can only happen after you have finished two years of work experience as a dental assistant.
You should as well check every state requirements and make sure to fulfill them. You should also notice that some states will offer registration and even licensure in extension to the public certification program while in other states you don’t need to fulfill any formal educational requirements.
Work Environment and Schedule
Many dental assistants work in dental offices, and their work is being held under the surveillance and supervision of a dentist. In their daily basis activities, they will work closely as well with the dental hygienists.
They wear surgical masks, safety glasses, protective clothing as well as gloves in order to assure themselves on avoiding infectious diseases that could transmit. Dental assistants have to follow as well safety plans in order to lower the risks of being exposed to x-rays.
The schedule of a dental assistant involves a full-time work there are few of them that actually work part-time. Depending on the office, dental assistants can even work evenings or weekends.
Pros and cons of being a dental assistant
Like in every other career choice you’ll get to see the pros and cons that come with it. If you look into a dental assistant career, you’ll discover them. Every time you’re searching for the pros in a career you should inform upon the growing rate that appears. According to many surveys, the growing industry rate for dental assistants is pretty good, due to the demand increasing and the opportunities that are in this field.
With other words, you’ll have the stability you’ll need to stay in this job and continue to advance. This job, on the other hand, is full of challenging and varied task so you don’t have to worry about being bored, you will not have time for that.
You’re going to have more experience with the responsibilities that are present on a daily basis. The responsibilities include assisting with treatment and procedures, investigating a patient about his or her medical history and many other tasks. You will also need office management, which further gives you great opportunities on learning more and developing, as well as on high mobility in the career that you are now in.
This career is very rewarding since you get to work with people, and if you love a communicational set this is the perfect setting for you to grow and develop in. You’ll be there to ease their pain and teach them how to achieve a better oral health and as well maintain it.
The earnings are as well very advantages, and you can foresee to receive a good salary. For instance, a graduate can expect to a starting salary as a dental assistant that will probably reach $22,010 per year. Those with more experience in the dental assistant job will get a salary that can reach $43,010. Of course, the responsibility gathers up as well the more you advance in this line, the more responsibilities you’ll face.
The cons, which will gather up are based on the salary as well. Compared with other dentistry’s careers the payment is pretty low. For instance, a practicing dentist will earn a median salary that will reach $150,010 per year while a hygiene dentist will earn a median salary that reaches $68,010 per year. The excellent news is that with more study and work experience, the dental assistants can increase their earnings as well.
Because of the work they have to do such as having to work many times with x-ray machines or sitting in awkward positions while they are treating a patient the risk of personal injury is much higher. Often dental assistants will get neck pain, backaches as well as headaches and many times their arms and feet will numb. Though in order to combat this part a dental assistant can keep an active lifestyle where he or she can include exercises routines, as well as stretching. For some it might appear like a con the matter that you’ll need to clean up a patient blood and puss.
Dental Assistant job growth
The employment rate for dental assistants are projected at 25% for the next five to ten years, according to the BLS, or else known as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This demand for dental services, especially for dental assistants is growing faster, due to the young patients that need more and more preventative care.
Another factor for this increase is because the older dentists are retiring making room for the young specialists that enter in the field, this leading to a willingness of enlisting the career prospects of dental assistants. The job prospects are presented as being very satisfactory, and the future outlook for these professionals remains one very stable and solid since many need their aid.
Dental assistant salary
In the US, the dental assistant salary ranges between $24,010 per year and $46,010 per year while an hourly wage can be estimated at about $16.9 per hour more or less. A dental assistant salary depends on, and it’s influenced by a number of factors. The frequently observed differences are those related to the dental assistant certification, education, the geographical area in which one is hired. Further, the gender of a dental assistant as well as the healthcare facility in which one is working make a difference.
Those, who have a certification within an accredited program will usually win a higher income than those who are only certified and without accreditation. In the US, a median expected salary for a dental assistant is estimated at around $32,978 per year with an hourly wage that will range from $11.15 and up to $22.9 per hour.
The annual salary for a professional working in this career is estimated to range between $23,085 and $47,425 per year depending on the factors mentioned earlier. The payroll of a dental assistant will also vary according to each state. For instance, if you are operating in a big city you’ll salary will be higher than if you were to work in a small city.
The best metropolitan areas pay a higher salary, and you’ll have increased opportunities. The highest salaries from this career prospect can be found in metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Nashua, or even Haverhill.
Salary of a dental assistant in 2015
With the growing rate, a dental assistant can rest assured that his job has the required stability, as well as the chances for an increased earning. With additional education, a dental assistant can increase its chances for a better payment.
For the year 2015 in US, the numbers of demanding are still growing, and people are in need for dental assistants. The figures in the salary are rising and with them the responsibilities as well.
Dental Assistant Salary in 2016
A dental assistant salary, in the United States, for the year 2016 tends to have an estimated average payment of $31,142 per year, with an hourly wage that gets around $15.07 per hour. The vast majority of individuals working as dental assistants are women rather than men.
The starting point in the incomes of these professionals varies from $20,110 and up to $44,961. The bonuses that are granted in this field usually reach at $1,791 per year, while the profit sharing is comprised between $200.58 and up to $3,946. The commissions have figures that are estimated between $197.98 and up to $4,933, this leading in the end, with all these benefits added to a total payment that varies from $22,208 per year and up to $43,632 per year, according to the salary data survey offered by PayScale.
The main factors that affect and influence the incomes of these professionals are the specific employer, geographical location, and the years of experience as well as other. When it comes to the level of experience in the field, this factor seems to have a moderate effect in establishing the payment of this group.
For instance, an entry-level dental assistant with less than 5 years of activity in the field can expect to take home around $28,010 per year, while a dental assistant, who’s having between 5 and up to 10 years of working experience in the field, will gain around $33,010 per year. Those who are in the category of experienced professionals with 10 and up to 20 years of knowledge and understanding of this career can expect at incomes with a particular average of $37,010. The veterans of this career, with more than 20 years of experience report earnings of $39,010 per year.
The national average payment for dental assistants concerning various states or cities in the country reports an income estimated at $31,580 per year. With a high above median national average salary is Seattle, followed by Charlotte, New York, Atlanta and other as well. The income for dental assistants, in Seattle, has a median total pay of $38,884, while in New York this average of median payment gets around $34,876.
On the other hand, below the national average reported incomes can be found in Orlando, Huston as well as Las Vegas. For instance, in Huston, the income is estimated at $31,321 per year while in Orlando it reaches only at $31,246 per year.
According to the Salary.com, the income of an individual with the title of dental assistant varies based on several circumstances such as the company size, the industry in which one has found work, level of training and education as well as some of the early mentioned factors: geographical location and years of experience. The salary data provided by Salary.com present the incomes to reach at a median average of $34,281 per year, with a range that is established between $30,429 and up to $37,905.
Dental assistant salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
In Canada, the ordinary salary for a dental assistant ranges between CAD$45,010 and CAD$55,010 per year with an hourly wage that ranges between 17.6 CAD and 24.7 CAD per hour. Those, who already have experience as dental assistants, will gain a bonus that will range between CAD$245 and CAD$495. For those who are already registered as dental assistants the hourly wage is at about 21.3 per hour, while the highest registered dental assistant can receive 26.5 per hour and even more.
In Australia, a dental assistant earning will range between AU$26,157 and AU$52,089 per year. The average hourly wage for a dental assistant will range between AU$12.86 per hour and AU$24.83 per hour. This wage can increase in time and go up to AU$40.23 per hour depending on the years spend on the working field and the experience gained.
In UK, the expected average salary for a dental assistant is estimated at £18,210 per year while the median salary is at about £19,010 per year. The pay of a dental assistant will diversify a lot according to the age. For instance, those that have the age of 25 or even more or less will earn a salary that reaches about £13,582. At the same time, experts, which have 30 or 40 years of age, will earn salaries comprised between £17,747 and £21,430 per year, and the figures will increase with the years of experience.
Conclusion on a dental assistant salary
People with added years of experience in this field of dental assistance will gain more than those who just began working in this domain. With varied opportunities, you can increase you earnings as well as develop in this career. The top 10 percent of dental assistants are earning a salary of about $47,098 per year. The weakest category, the poorest wages within dental assistants will be the experts who earn a salary that reaches $22,689 per year and even less.
The future outlook for the next ten years is good due to the constant economic flux and the various age categories that are in need for a dental assistant. This job has a great career prospect with numerous ad various tasks to attend as well with the rewarding of being there to provide help for those in need for better oral health.