Q: WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A DENTAL ASSISTING CAREER?
A: In addition to assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures, dental assistants hold a diverse and interesting position in the dental ofﬁce using office skills such as scheduling appointments and answering the phone; people skills such as making patients comfortable; and technical skills such as taking radiographs (x-rays), sterilizing instruments and taking impressions for study models. Dental assisting is a flexible, challenging and rewarding career, with both full-time and part-time positions available. Dental assisting provides you with the personal satisfaction of knowing you’ve really helped someone by aiding the dentist in providing a valuable health service.
Q: WHAT IS A DENTAL ASSISTANT’S EARNING POTENTIAL?
A: The salary of a dental assistant depends primarily upon the responsibilities associated with the speciﬁc position and the geographic location of employment. In the state of Texas, the base salary for Dental Assistant ranges from $31,000 to $40,000 with the average base salary of $36,000. Dental assistants earn salaries equal to other health care personnel with similar training and experience such as medical assistants, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, veterinary technicians and pharmacy assistants.
Q: WHAT DO DENTAL ASSISTANTS DO?
A: Dental assistants’ responsibilities may include:
- Assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures.
- Taking and developing dental radiographs (xrays).
- Asking about the patient’s medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse.
- Serving as an infection control ofﬁcer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment.
- Helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment.
- Providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (ﬁlling).
- Teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health; (e.g., toothbrushing, flossing and nutritional counseling).
- Taking impressions of patients’ teeth for study casts (models of teeth).
- Performing ofﬁce management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer.
- Communicating with patients and suppliers (e.g., scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing and ordering supplies).
- Assisting with and helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties; including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics and oral surgery.
Q: WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT DCDS DENTAL ASSISTING SCHOOL?
A: DCDS Dental Assisting School is operated by Dallas County Dental Society (DCDS), a professional association for licensed Texas dentists established in 1908 to enhance the public’s oral health education and dental well-being. We work with a network of over 1350 DCDS dentists in this area to discover exactly what they need from their dental team, and tailor our curriculum to meet their needs. These dentists from the Dallas County Dental Society look to DCDS Dental Assisting School first when they need a new dental assistant, making it easier for us to help our students find a job.
Be a part of a great team! Students at the DCDS Dental Assisting School learn to maximize skills to become valued and contributing members of the dental team.