This article is a continuation of our series on Dental Assistants. We started off with what is a dental assistant, next we profiled the jobs and responsibilities of a dental assistant and lastly we explored the options you have on how to become a dental assistant. In this article we are going to look at why become a dental assistant in the first place.
There are many reasons people these days want to become dental assistants. Aside from the job growing with a fast demand during the past few years, it also serves as a training ground for individuals who wish to become accomplished dentists in the future. Getting a degree in dentistry and orthodontics can be quite expensive and may take years to fulfill, thus working as a dental assistant offers better hands on training at a cheaper cost.
Dental Assistant Career Projections
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected 36% increase of demand for dental assistants by the year 2016. This is due to the growing demand for dental care professionals in various medical establishments, and in turn they need assistants to provide administrative help and hands on assistance to their operations.
While there are dentists who prefer experienced dental assistants, entry level positions will continue to become available particularly for graduates of certificate programs in dental assistance.
How much do Dental Assistant’s make?
Dental assistants generally receive a good salary package. It can range anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000 per year. Entry level dental assistants may receive lower salaries depending on their employer, but those who receive median earnings can easily provide for their respective families.
There are also geographic locations that play a big role when it comes to salary packages. Cities where there is a huge demand will often pay a higher salary package to dental assistants regardless of their experience. Those who are just beginning to explore the industry may find good work opportunities in such areas and even receive promotions in a relatively shorter period of time.
Workload of a Dental Assistant
Unlike other medical assistant positions, dental assistants have shorter working hours but still receive good pay. They are not subject to face medical emergencies and other urgent medically related issues since most patients come by appointment. Regardless of the environment they work for, dental assistants have far less work pressure to deal with and can relatively be more relaxed while at work as compared to other medical assistant professions.
Dental assistants can also work part-time since their workload is typically not as heavy when compared to other medical assistants. Some dental assistants may only be required to work on call, i.e, only when the dentist has a patient to care of.
Perks of being a Dental Assistant
Most dental assistants receive various perks aside from good salary and relaxed working hours. These include:
- Discounted dental services. Dental assistants are entitled to discounts in various dental services such as tooth extraction, RCT, placement of braces, retainers or dentures, and dental cleaning.
- Instant access to dental services. They get priority service in the dental establishment they work for as compared to regular patients.
- On-the-job training. Dental assistants undergo actual dental training and exposure thanks to their job. They can thus use these applications once they opt to take up advanced dental studies and become dentists in a few years’ time.
- Paid holidays and vacation. Dental assistants also receive compensation during vacation days and holidays, depending on the establishment they work for.
- Better human interaction. Dental assistants not only serve as aides to dentists; they are also assigned in building rapport with their patients so that they would stay relaxed during and after a dental operation, and through this they get to meet new people and make new friends while on the job.
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