How much does a dental assistant make? Dental assistants earn an moderate yearly salary for their duties. A dental assistant is responsible for patients at reception area as well as preparing patients for the dentist or dental hygienist. Dental assistants make sure dental equipment and tools are clean and organized for the dentist, and that dental patients are comfortable prior to services. They perform a variety of office, patient care, and laboratory duties including disinfecting and sterilizing instruments and equipment, preparing materials and instruments needed to treat patients, and obtaining and updating patient dental records. Dental assistants who work the reception desk of the office receive patients, schedule and confirm dental appointments, keep treatment records, order dental supplies and materials, send bills and receive payments for dental services.
Dental assistants often work by the side of a dentist during dental procedures providing assistance, including handing instruments and materials to dentists as they work and keeping patients' mouths clear and dry using suction hoses or other devices. Dental assistants instruct patients on general oral care and postoperative procedures. Under the direction of a dentist, dental assistants may also be involved in the preparation of materials for dental impressions and restorations, as well as processing dental x-rays. Other duties under a dentists direction may include placing dental dams in order to isolate teeth for treatment, applying topical anesthetics to gums or cavity-preventive agents to teeth, removing sutures, and removing excess cement used in the filling process.
For those dental assistants who meet specific training and experience requirements, a number of states are expanding dental assistants' duties to include restorative dentistry functions and coronal polishing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows employment for dental assistants is expected to increase faster than average with excellent job prospects. Employment for dental assistants is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, growing 36 percent from 2008 to 2018.
How much does a dental assistant make an hour?
A 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows the median hourly wages for dental assistants is $15.98.
Offices of Dentists $16.35
Offices of Physicians $14.87
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) $18.12
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $16.03
Employment Services $16.90
How much does a dental assistant make per year?
The median yearly salary for dental assistants according to a May 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics report is $32,380. An Indeed.com salary report for 2010 shows dental assistants yearly salary at $36,000.
The Indeed.com report for 2010 shows specific dental assistant careers with salary ranges:
Dental Assistant Careers Training $38,000
Dental Hygienist Assistant Training $54,000
Dental Assistant Instructor $49,000
Rda Registered Dental Assistant $31,000
DA Dental Assistant $27,000
Dental Member Assistant $39,000
Dental Assistant Efda $32,000
Dental Assistant Expanded Function $42,000
Dental Assistant $34,000
Dental Office Assistant $26,000
Certified Dental Assistant $30,000
Dental Assistant Training $38,000
Registered Dental Assistant $40,000
Dental Assistant Training Available $39,000
Dental Assistant Dental Assistant $33,000