Dental Assistants perform limited clinical duties under the direction of a dentist. Clinical duties may include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatment, assisting the dentist during treatment, and providing patients with instructions for oral healthcare procedures. May perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes.
Table of Contents
Dental Assistants assist dentist, set up equipment, prepare patient for treatment, and keep records.
- Prepare patient, sterilize or disinfect instruments, set up instrument trays, prepare materials, or assist dentist during dental procedures.
- Record treatment information in patient records.
- Expose dental diagnostic x-rays.
- Take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients.
Dental Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $26940 and $32200 while the more experienced ones can earn over $47070 per year.
|Top 5 paying states||Hourly||Annual|
One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Dental Assistant is to move to a higher paying state like MN. Right now, the highest paying states for Dental Assistants are MN, DC, NH, AK and ND.
However, a higher pay at MN doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MN might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.
Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Dental Assistant is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.
We asked other Dental Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Secondary Certificate followed by an Associate’s Degree.
Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Dental Assistant.
|Suitable for people who likes to follow routines|
|Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment|
|This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.|
|It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.|
|Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)|
|Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs|
|One of the lowest paying jobs|
What is the job like
74% of Dental Assistants said they were satisfied with their job and 73% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.
Is this right for me
You can read more about these career personality types here.
People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..
They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
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Related career information
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Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Aide, Dental Assistant (DA), Dental Nurse, Dental Office Manager, Dentist Attendant, Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA), Expanded Function Dental Assistant, Oral Surgery Assistant