Things you should know about becoming a Dental Assistant

  • Author Darran Mansfield
  • Published May 3, 2012
  • Word count 1,004

This article you will learn all you need to know about becoming a dental assistant and what the career is like overall including salary, working hours, vacation and the duties.

A career as a dental assistant is very hands on with people and the general public. Some people don’t know that dental assistant work with more than one dentist, they come and go as and when needed. Dental assistant’s tend to work very closely with the public and need to be able to handle them correctly. If you love to learn new things, being a dental assistant is great for you as you will see numerous procedures being carried out.

Dental assistant’s are nothing like dental hygienist, in reality they are very different indeed. They don’t do the same job and duties at all, in fact they are very different indeed. Quite a lot of the time dental hygienist’s get help from assistant’s, it isn’t just dentists that need their help. Dentist’s carry out procedures such as crowns, root canals and tooth removal, dental hygienist’s polish and clean teeth and help keep them strong and healthy.

Dental Assistants are very sought after workers throughout the US. In the US there is and has been for a while now a shortage of good dental assistants, which is why such good job positions are being offered for good workers. There are some great benefits to be had in the dental industry without the fact that there is a shortage of skilled workers, so you can imagine this only helps your rewards. The hourly wage for a dental assistant varies greatly on a number of factors but its safe to say that its usually above the national minimum by $3 at least. You don’t have to just stick to being a assistant, you can use the knowledge you have learned and become a hygienist or even a dentist. You will be a first hand look at how the whole industry is run and if you like it.

I know every one wants to know what they could earn doing a job so I will go through it here for you. Before we do into an detail you need to remember that there are things that will effect how much you earn as an assistant and some of them you just can’t control. There are three main things that can effect your overall take home which are training, location and experience. Now when it comes to location, this you are in control of and can change if you want to, just remember the bigger cities have higher salaries because it costs more lot live there. Training is a huge factor in any job these days, the more you have had the better your chances of a higher salary are. This is factor that has no shortcuts, all you can do is got out and get experience by working in the job.

A recent study found that the average yearly salary for a dental assistant was approximately $35,000 which is a very healthy amount to be earning. From that average salary it works out that the hourly rate is about $15 which is great than the average American’s salary. This being said it is an average and you should know about the lowest and highest earners which range from $9 to $23 per hour. All of this is mainly down to the three big factors that we have just talked about, so you really need to do everything you can to help yourself.

Working in a dental surgery you can rest assure that you will be working good sociable hours. If you have a very big social life then these working hours will be great for you. Plenty of paid vacation is great and that’s just what you will get in the dental industry. With you working as dental assistant you should be able to get discounted care for your immediate family. Thousands of dollars can be save by your family being able to receive cheap dental care.

Some of your duties with be to give the dentist and instruments and tools he needs during a procedure, taking x-rays and cleaning the dental room after every patient. You need to be very clear and current with the laws in your state with regards to what procedures you can and can’t carry out as each state varies greatly. Asking questions during a interview is not a bad thing, it shows eagerness and interest in the job as long as you don’t just to questions regarding pay, sick leave and holiday you should be fine.

If you love working with people and the general public then this is certainly a good job for you. Being able to get on with people, not just patients but also work colleges is very important and can determine how far your career advances.

So now your wondering how long it takes to become a assistant, well its not too long as its normally only about 1 year. Now saying that there are some courses you there that are longer and more detailed but take a little longer than a year. You have to check with your state but in some you can do on the job training and be done even quicker. Employer won’t on dental assistants that have not passed a test and become certified, mainly because of their insurance and lack of skills and knowledge you may have.

Keeping up with the latest procedures and technologies that are improving the dental industry is essential to stay on top of your game. Training and skills are the key to any job, so when you employer asks if you would like to go on a training course, make sure you say yes.

I think most assistants will tell you its a great job to have, helping people that need it and getting rewarded for doing it. For many years now there has been a shortage of dental industry workers which means it will never be hard for you to find work.