Dental assistants are integral members of the dental team. They work alongside dentists and dental hygienists to provide dental care to patients. Dental assistants perform various tasks, including patient care, office management, and laboratory duties. They must have excellent communication skills, be detail-oriented, and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. With the right skills, dental assistants can earn higher salaries. This article will discuss the dental assistant skills that command the highest salaries.
Education and Certification
Education and certification are essential for dental assistants who want to earn higher salaries. Many dental assistants complete a dental assisting program with classroom instruction and hands-on training. These programs typically last one year and lead to a certificate or diploma. Some dental assistants pursue an associate degree in dental assisting, which takes two years to complete.
Certification is another way for dental assistants to increase their earning potential. The Dental Assisting National Board offers certification for dental assistants who pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. The CDA exam covers four areas: general chairside assisting, radiation health and safety, infection control, and dental materials.
Dental assistants who have expanded functions training can also earn higher salaries. Expanded functions training allows dental assistants to perform additional duties, such as placing fillings, polishing teeth, and taking impressions. The requirements for expanded functions training vary by state, but most programs require additional coursework and hands-on training.
Dental assistants who have completed expanded functions training are in high demand. They can perform more tasks, which allows dentists to focus on more complex procedures. As a result, dental assistants with expanded functions training can earn higher salaries.
Specialization is another way for dental assistants to earn higher salaries. Dental assistants can specialize in a particular area of dentistry, such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry. Specialization requires additional training and experience but can lead to higher salaries.
Dental assistants specializing in orthodontics work closely with orthodontists to install and adjust braces. They must have excellent communication skills and work well with patients of all ages. Pediatric dental assistants work with children and must have a gentle touch and a friendly demeanor.
Office management is another skill that can lead to higher salaries for dental assistants. Dental assistants with office management skills can handle administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and handling insurance claims. They must have excellent organizational skills and work well under pressure.
Dental assistants who have office management skills are in high demand. They can help the dental office run smoothly, which allows dentists to focus on patient care. As a result, dental assistants with office management skills can earn higher salaries.
Dental assistants play a vital role in the dental team. They perform a wide range of tasks and must have excellent communication skills, be detail-oriented, and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. With the right skills, dental assistants can earn higher salaries.
Education and certification, expanded functions, specialization, and office management are all skills that can lead to higher salaries for dental assistants. Dental assistants can enhance their careers and achieve financial success by developing these skills.
Northwest Suburban College’s dental assistant certification program is an excellent option for those interested in starting a career in the dental field. With comprehensive training in all aspects of dental assisting, you can be fully prepared to pursue a rewarding career in as little as 32 weeks, which includes eight weeks of hands-on training. With this program, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful dental assistant and enter the workforce with confidence.