Dental Assistants Job description, salary and more

Overview about the Dental Assistants Job description:

You think every scrub-wearing worker in the dentist’s office is either a dentist or dental hygienist?! Some of them are, but some of the other professionals performing integral tasks in running the office and facilitating care are actually Dental assistants.

Dental Assistants Job description, salary and more

Dental Assistants Job description, salary and more

So what do they do? Work Environment of the Dental Assistants? How to Become a Dental Assistant? Dental Assistants salary…

That are all the questions that we will go with you to find the answers to each question in this article: Dental Assistants Job description, salary and more…and in other posts. Click on each title to see details (maybe in this article or other articles)

Quick Facts: Dental Assistants
2012 Median Pay: $34,500 per year
$16.59 per hour
Entry-Level Education: Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
On-the-job Training: None
Number of Jobs, 2012: 303,200
Job Outlook, 2012-22: 25% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22: 74,400

What Dental Assistants Do

Dental assistants have many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.

Work Environment

Almost all dental assistants work in dentists’ offices. Most work full time.

How to Become a Dental Assistant

There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements.

Salary

The median annual wage for dental assistants was $34,500 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services.

Dental Assistants Work Environment

Dental assistants held about 303,200 jobs in 2012. Almost all dental assistants work in dentists’ offices. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and may work closely with dental hygienists in their day-to-day activities.

Dental assistants wear safety glasses, surgical masks, protective clothing, and gloves to protect themselves and patients from infectious diseases. They must also follow safety procedures to minimize risks associated with x-ray machines.

Work Schedules

Most dental assistants work full time. However, about 1 in 3 assistants worked part time in 2012. Some work evenings or weekends, depending on the office where they work.

Dental Assistants Salary:

The median annual wage for dental assistants was $34,500 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,550, and the top 10 percent earned more than $47,580.

Dental Assistants Salary

Dental Assistants Salary

Most dental assistants work full time. However, about 1 in 3 assistants worked part time in 2012. Some work evenings or weekends, depending on the hours of operation at the office where they work.

Dental Assistants Job Outlook

Employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health and general health will likely continue to increase the demand for preventive dental services. Dentists will continue to hire more dental assistants to complete routine tasks, allowing the dentist to see more patients in their practice and to spend their time on more complex procedures. As dental practices grow, more dental assistants will be needed.

As the large baby-boom population ages, and as people keep more of their original teeth than did previous generations, the need to maintain and treat teeth will continue to increase the need for dental care.

Employment projections data for dental assistants, 2012

Employment projections data for dental assistants, 2012. Image: BLS

Federal health legislation is expected to expand the number of patients who have access to health insurance. People with new or expanded dental insurance coverage will be more likely to visit a dentist than in the past. This will increase the demand for all dental services, including those performed by dental assistants.

*Source: BLS.gov

DANB practice test questions in the practice tests:

Take our many free Dental Assistant exam questions and answers in below practice tests to prepare for DANB Exam:

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