Friday, 19 September 2008

Wages For Dental Assistants

Wages for dental assistant vary depending on the office location and experience in the profession. But before we dig deep into all the different details concerning the wages for dental assistants, lets clarify what exactly a dental assistant does. Dental Assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties. Simply put, a dental assistant is a member of the dental care team that helps dentists during dental exams and treatments. One of the main functions the dental assistant is to prepare patients for examination making sure they are as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Working chair-side dental assistant features more tasks like handling instruments and materials to the dentist and drying the patient's mouth with suction equipment during treatments. The job of an assistant could also include mixing up filling compounds, take impressions of teeth, and give patients postoperative instructions.

Future employment opportunities will increase, driven by the growth of an aging population more prone to gum disease and related dental health conditions. Another factor contributing to the high demand for dental services is that people are keeping their natural teeth longer. According to stats released by the Occupational Employment Survey of Employers by EDD/LMID, in 2001, the hourly wages for dental assistants range from $12.08 to $17.94, which makes an average hourly wage of $15.11, and the average annual wage $31,420. But as mentioned, wages depend on a variety of different factors including the individual's education, experience, skills, type of employer, and office location (in geographic terms). One thing is for sure though - fully-licensed dental assistants and registered dental assistants in Extended Functions may expect to receive higher wages.

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