05 Dec Dental Assistants have Most Diverse Duties In the Practice
By: Belle DuCharme, RDA, CDPMA
Dental Assistants are highly valued and necessary to the successful dental practice; just try to operate without one for a day. Licensing and certification of dental assistants not only helps increase their recognition and pay but also improves the efficiency and production in the dental practice. Encouraging dental assistants to become licensed and or certified should be part of each dental practice’s culture. Patients are always more at ease when they know that the dentist and clinical dental team are highly skilled, licensed and educated to treat their painful, diseased teeth and to comfort them in time of distress. Seeing the letters CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) RDA(Registered Dental Assistant) (https://www.danb.org/Become-Certified/Exams-and-Certifications.aspx), COA, CPFDA or CRFDA and CDPMA, after their name is a big plus to the dental community as this is proof that dental assisting is not just a job but a valued career.
Once trained, dental assistants perform a variety of basic patient care duties as well as assist dentists during many clinical procedures. Of all of the members of the dental team, dental assistants may have the most diverse set of duties in the office. They can be found asking about a patient’s medical history, taking and developing x-rays, teaching patient’s good oral hygiene strategies, taking blood pressure and pulse, and even taking impressions of a patient’s teeth. They work hard to make sure that patients feel comfortable and at ease throughout the dental office experience.
Although dental assistants perform a variety of clinical tasks in a dental office, they are also frequently found completing many administrative tasks. Some of these may include communicating with patients at the front desk, completing office management tasks on the computer and using paper files, and doing billing and supply ordering among other tasks.
Many dental assistants go on to other fulfilling careers in dentistry such as becoming dental hygienists, dentists, dental supply representatives, dental consultants and dental trainers and instructors. My primary care medical physician, Dr. Debra Bement, was once a dental assistant in an office where I worked as a receptionist forty years ago.
On the roster of Dental Account Managers, Account Executives, Team Leaders and more at eAssist are certified dental assistants who, with their clinical knowledge, have become some of the best billing agents eAssist has on board.
National Dental Assistant’s week comes every year around March. Let’s not forget to show our appreciation when the time arrives for our valued team members.
The Dental Assistants National Board Salary by State Report
Dental Assistant Salaries Average for 50 States
Dental assistants who are not DANB certified earn $17.76 per hour.
Dental assistants who hold DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification earn $20.46 per hour.
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