dental-assistantConsidering a Career as a Dental Assistant?

Are you considering a career as a Dental Assistant? If you aren’t, you should be! This career path shows huge potential, especially considering the low requirement barriers, competitive pay, and rapid rate of job growth. If you like the sound of these attributes, take a glance at the rest of this article to find out if a career in Dental Assisting is right for you. For more information on any particular topic, visit the helpful references listed below.

An Average Day in the Shoes of a Dental Assistant

On any given day, a Dental Assistant can be found in the office, lab, treatment, or waiting areas. Although job descriptions very depending upon the employment venue, common tasks include:

  • Sterilizing dental instruments, disinfect and set up patient rooms
  • Order dental supplies and materials
  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Keeping and retrieving dental records as needed
  • Taking care of insurance, billing, and payment
  • Instructing patients on proper dental hygiene and oral care
  • Processing x-rays and completing other lab tasks (i.e. – taking impressions, fabricate models)
  • Working with patients to get them situated and ready for dental procedures
  • Assist dentists in all procedures
  • Taking radiographs with traditional and digital methods

Salary Information

The average median salary ranges from 32K to 34K, according to most sources. A realistic entry-level salary will likely range from 25K to 30K, depending on the extent of past training and relevant experience. The majority of Dental Assistants do receive paid vacation and health benefits, according to surveys.

Education & Advancement

Many Dental Assistants learn all their job skills onsite, with nothing more than a high-school diploma. That said, it would be wise to consider some form of formal training to improve job chances and opportunities. Training programs vary from 1 to 2 years, and usually result in a diploma or an associate’s degree along with their dental radiology license.

Employers value this type of training because it makes Dental Assistants more valuable and allows them to perform a greater variety of tasks. If you wish to advance quickly in your Dental Assistant career, it is highly recommended that you seek job training through a relevant program, such as that offered by CIDMA.

Job Opportunity Analysis

Almost all sources agree that employment is expected to increase much faster than the average for most occupations. From 2012-2022, employment is expected to rise by 25%, or by 74,400 jobs.

In addition, recent federal health legislation is expanding how many people have access to health insurance, which will also increase the demand for dentistry services.

Sources for Information:

1. http://www.truity.com/career-profile/dental-assistant

2. http://www.collegegrad.com/careers/servi06.shtml

3. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319091.htm

4. http://careerplanning.about.com/od/occupations/p/dent_assistant.htm

5. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-1