The prospect for being a dental assistant is bright as employment in this job is expected to grow much faster than other jobs through 2016. For a profession of which a degree is not required, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this is the third fastest growing job. If this piques your interest, you may want to find out what these professionals do before deciding whether or not venture into this career.
Basically, members of this profession help the dental operator in rendering more efficient dental treatments to patients. One of their responsibilities is to deliver patient care. Examples of duties under this responsibility are making patients feel comfortable in the dental chair, handing instruments to dentists and removing sutures.
On top of these duties, dental assistants are also expected to carry out duties in laboratory. They will perform duties such as making casts of the teeth, cleaning appliances and making crowns. In regard to clerical responsibilities, dental assistants are expected to perform tasks such as taking appointments, maintaining records of treatment and ordering materials.
Of particular concern regarding the duties of a dental assistant is that of expanded functions. These duties differ depending upon local dental regulations. The duties listed under expanded functions ought to be performed under the supervision of a dentist. Expanded functions are functions which are not traditionally performed by dental assistants. In fact, they are forbidden to perform some of these duties.
Is this a lucrative job? This depends in part to the location one works in. Working in large cities almost always guarantees a higher pay. Besides this, a higher pay can be expected if a formal training has been obtained. In general, the median hourly pay is $13.62. Aside from salary, they can obtain such benefits as health insurance and discounted charge on dental procedures. If the dental office is doing well, one may even get unexpected bonuses.