Dental assistant jobs

How You Could Get Dental Assistant Jobs

The main responsibility of dental assistants is to assist the dentist will all activities within the clinic. The extent of the tasks one can do in this specific occupation will depend on the background knowledge, learned skills, and certification level one has.

Tasks include hands­on assistance during dental procedures and surgeries. The assistant helps provide the dentist with the necessary equipment and tools while tooth extractions, taking and developing X­rays, and patient care. Clerical work is also a duty to help free the dentist of his valuable time during daily office hours.

Those individuals that have not had dental knowledge or the necessary certification can still do dental assistant jobs but merely functioning as support staff in the office. Duties would include taking appointments, handling billing, and even greeting patients. These daily activities may not seem too important but they serve a valuable asset to any dental practice looking to give patients the best possible service.

Dental Assistant Jobs Opportunities

There are over 300,000 Dental Assistants all over the United States today.

The dentist to dental assistant ratio is usually one to one, especially for small clinics. Bigger clinics employing more dentists may require additional help with clerical tasks so they often hire more personnel to handle the load of responsibilities in a thriving practice.

It would be beneficial for those applying for dental assistant jobs to seek out larger clinics as they tend to have more positions open for applicants.

The job outlook for dental assistants from 2012 to 2022 is certainly rising at a rate of 25%. This is considered to be faster than the average by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is equivalent to over 130,000 job openings in the next several years. This could be due to the rising awareness of the importance of oral health in relation to one’s overall health.

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Dental Assistant Jobs Positions and Salary Information

The current median pay for Dental Assistant jobs is approximately $16.00 per hour and $34,500.00 annually.

Obviously, this estimate could fluctuate depending on several factors. Additional certifications achieved would add to one’s responsibilities in the job and could also equal increased pay. Below is a short list of dental assistant jobs:

● Certified or Registered Dental Assistant
● X­Ray Certified Dental Assistant
● Expanded Functions Dental Assistant

Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienists are dental professionals who diagnose oral problems, such as Gingivitis. They would provide preventative oral care and teach techniques for patients to utilize at home. This position generally earns as much as $70,000.00 annually.

Salary will generally vary depending on the practice and tenure of the employee. Annual bonus amounts are common for this position and are usually approximately $1,500.00. Additional cash earnings could come from commissions which ranges from $200 to nearly $900 a year. Profit sharing is also common in some practices. Ranging from $200­$4,000.

Tips for Applying for Dental Assistant Jobs

High school graduates can apply for these positions as long as they complete specific additional courses, particularly in Anatomy, Biology and Chemistry. Several community colleges offer these subjects which take approximately a year to complete.

Those individuals who have enrolled in accredited programs which focus on dentistry (teeth and oral health) would have better chances of landing Dental Assistant jobs quickly.

As of now, 63% of all Dental Assistants have post­secondary certificate. 12% have Associate Degrees and only 9% have this job with only having a high school diploma or its equivalent.

There are certain states which require several certifications before one can actually preform hands­on dental jobs such as the following:

● Fluoride application
● Sealant application
● Coronal polishing or plaque removal
● Anesthetics (topical) application

The ability to perform these tasks would naturally increase one’s pay. Some of these duties are also learned on the job alongside other certified individuals. This is a path often taken by some who are luckily hired in dental clinics even without the certifications.

Despite the fact that some states do not demand certifications, it would still be better for hopefuls to enroll in classes to learn the knowledge and skills prior to applying for the position. Please note that there are certain qualities that dentists are looking for when they are interviewing hopeful applicants to be their dental assistants:

● Organizational skills are needed for clerical work
● Listening skills are vital for dealing with patients and working with other healthcare professionals
● Interpersonal skills for dealing with patients (including children)
● Attention to detail is a must have for all health care workers
● Overall compatibility is desired for Dental Assistants due to the close nature of their work.

Benefits of Working Dental Assistant Jobs

Some Dental Assistants receive health benefits but, oddly enough, the percentage of those who do is not as high as one would expect. Especially considering that they are working in the healthcare field.

Approximately 36% receive medical benefits. 13% receive vision benefits. Interestingly, only 43% (less than half) receive dental benefits.

Additional Information about Dental Assistant Jobs

Based on reports, 5 out of 5 Dental Assistants are very happy with their jobs. Over 50% of all have been working for five years or more in this specific dental field – a testament to their job satisfaction.

37% of all Dental Assistants have stayed in their jobs for a period of one to four years. That number goes down to 21% on the fifth year. This doesn’t mean that a lot of them quit their jobs. On the contrary, it signifies that 16% became certified for a higher­paying Dental Assistant job, specifically on:

● Periodontics
● Oral Surgery
● Orthodontics
● Radiology
● Patient Education

Most dental assistant jobs are filled by women. According to current statistics, only 3% of these jobs are filled by men. Some argue that these figures could be because more men study to become professional dental practitioners.

Seasonal Dental Assistant Jobs

Once hired, dental assistants often work full­time, often eight hours a day or even more – depending on the clinic hours. Rarely will one find seasonal Dental Assistant jobs offered anywhere.

Some hopefuls can get lucky when there are medical and dental outreach programs in their communities. Most of the time, additional volunteers are needed for these positions. The only trouble is that there isn’t a lot of pay for this sort of job. Despite that, this is a great way for newbies to obtain much­needed experience for when they apply in clinics and other dental facilities.

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