A dental office cannot run smoothly without its dental assistants. They are in charge of scheduling appointments, taking x-rays, record keeping, and patient care. Patients spend more time with their dental assistants than they do with their dentists.
To say being a dental assistant is an important job is putting it lightly. Dental assisting is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the U.S. today. If you’re interested in a career in dentistry, you might want to learn what a typical workday looks like for a dental assistant.
To learn more about job training, typical dental assistant salaries, and how to get hired as a dental assistant, keep reading.
There are many different dental assistant qualifications. Which qualifications you need to meet to become a dental assistant vary state by state.
A few states will have you complete a graduate program and pass an exam before you start work as a dental assistant. A large number of these programs are offered at community colleges and include classroom and laboratory work. These programs may also be found at vocational or technical schools.
If you don’t have a formal education in dental assisting, then you’ll likely learn on the job. As a new dental assistant, you may be instructed by another dental assistant, a hygenist, or a dentist. They will likely teach you dental terminology, the names of dental instruments, interacting with patients, completing daily tasks, and other activities necessary to keep the dental office running smoothly.
States usually do not require licenses for people just starting their careers as dental assistants. There are some states that allow dental assistants to perform expanded duties. If you are in one of these states and wish to start performing expanded duties, you must first be licensed or certified by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.
It’s a great time to be a dental assistant. The amount of employed dental assistants is expected to skyrocket 7 percent in the coming decade, a rate faster than the average of all other occupations.
As for salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a dental assistant’s national median annual salary is $41,180. State government, or OEWS Designation, is the highest paying industry for dental assistants, with the annual mean wage being $50,080.
There are many paths dental assistants can take to start their careers. All dental offices will be looking for a specific set of skills in every assistant they hire.
Important dental assistant skills include:
Aspiring to have a career in dentistry? The easiest way to find an available dental assistant job is through our network. Chat with us today to get custom job suggestions, and start your career as a dental assistant.