Dental assistants are members of the dental team. They help the dental operator to provide more efficient dental treatment.
Dental assistantsare distinguished from other groups of dental assistants by their different backgrounds, functions and patients. Wikipedia Compares the job duties, education, job growth, and salary of dental assistants with similar occupations.
Dental assistants should pay attention to patients and other healthcare workers. They must follow the instructions of a dentist or dental hygienist so that they can help treat patients and perform tasks, such as taking x-rays. The Payments tab describes typical incomes and how workers in the occupation are compensated: annual wages, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within each occupation, earnings vary depending on experience, responsibility, performance, seniority and geographical area.
For most profiles, this tab has a table with salaries in the main industries that employ the occupation. It does not include the salaries of self-employed workers, agricultural workers or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Employment and Occupational Wage Statistics Survey (OEWS), the source of BLS wage data in the OOH. The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or the decline in employment and, in some cases, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job offers. Dental assistants are expected to continue to be in high demand over the next 10 years.
Explore professional requirements for dental assistants. Learn about training requirements, licensing, salary, and job obligations to determine if this is the right career for you. Dental assistants help dentists by performing clinical and administrative tasks, although the specific tasks vary depending on the dentist's office. They help during dental procedures and also perform technical tasks, such as preparing tools and taking x-rays.
In some states, they are allowed to perform certain dental procedures on their own. Learn about the job obligations, job prospects and training requirements for working as a dental assistant. Dental assistants have a variety of clinical, laboratory, and administrative tasks, depending on their level of training. As a dental assistant, you would perform clinical tasks such as seating patients in dental chairs and preparing them for the dentist, as well as helping the dentist examine patients.
You can also take x-rays of your teeth, sterilize dental equipment, and apply local anesthetics and dental protectors. In the laboratory, the dental assistant can focus on cleaning the removable mouthpiece and taking impressions of the teeth. Administratively, they manage billing, sort inventory, answer phones, greet patients and accept payments. To start a career as a dental assistant, you may find opportunities to train on the job, as there are no formal training requirements.
If you want to perform more advanced and complex dental care procedures, a state license or several years of experience as a dental assistant may be required. In several states, licensure requires graduating from an approved dental assistance program. You must select a dental assistance program that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), an agency of the American Dental Association (ADA). These programs, found in high schools and community colleges, can be completed in 1 or 2 years, depending on whether they award certificates, diplomas, or associate degrees.
Associate-level dental assistance programs consist of courses on procedures in dental offices, businesses, the basics of dentistry, microcomputer applications, radiology, infection control, and advanced in-office care. On-the-job training is recommended and likely, even if you choose to also receive formal training. When you complete your educational program of study, you will be able to sit for the National Board of Dental Assistance (DANB) exam. A passing grade means that you will then be appointed as a certified dental assistant (CDA).
Those who want to advance their career may consider becoming dental hygienists, who perform routine cleanings and examine patients' oral health. Dental hygienists need an associate's degree, unlike assistants. Becoming a physician assistant in a healthcare setting is another option and requires only a certificate. Another job without formal training requirements is that of a pharmacy technician, who helps pharmacists distribute medications.
Some states allow dental assistants to polish their teeth to remove stains and plaque from the enamel, or apply sealants, fluoride, or topical anesthesia. The growth rate of all occupations through 2024 is expected to be around 7%, so the demand for dental assistants will exceed this national growth rate by more than twice. Dentists will continue to hire dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing dentists to work more efficiently. For example, dental assistants can review the patient's medical history, blood pressure, and pulse before a procedure, explain what will be done, and talk to patients about oral care.
For more information on how to become a certified dental assistant and to get a list of state boards of dentistry, visit. This table shows a list of occupations with functions similar to those of dental assistants. Dental assistants wear safety goggles, surgical masks, protective clothing, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. Whether you choose a rural area like New Hampshire or a bustling metropolitan area like Peoria, you can enjoy a notable wage difference above the national average for dental assistants.
The educational requirements for DANB certification are that dental assistants must have graduated from an accredited program or have a high school diploma and have completed the required amount of work experience. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements and dental assistants learn to do their jobs through on-the-job training. Dentists will continue to hire dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing the dentist to work more efficiently. The growing number of people with health insurance will generate greater demand for dental assistants.