Dentistry is a great field. Some dentists got their start as a dental assistant. In fact, the dental assistant gets first hand exposure to the complexities of dentistry. As the right hand of the dentist, you can gain extensive knowledge of dental procedures. Like surgical technicians, dental assistants are key players in the procedure. Instruments and tools are handed to the dentist by the dental assistant. Keeping the mouth clean and dry is another dental assistant duty. Dental assistants handle patient medical records and update the files. The dental assistant must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Flexibility is an important skill to possess in this profession. Patients are often greeted first by the dental assistant. A main function of this position is putting the patient at ease. A patient with severe anxiety can hinder the dental procedure. In addition, patients return to dentists that make their experience pleasant.
Dental Assistant Salaries in San Francisco
The average dental assistant makes $35,150 in California. The cost of living directly influences salary averages. More experienced dental assistants make from $43,000 to $52,000 per year.(Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Dentists in San Francisco prefer to employ dental assistants with a dental assistant certificate. This one year credential ensures the dentist that you know the basics of the profession. Some training will occur in the office; however, a firm foundation is good. Advancement is limited without higher education. Those who wish to be promoted should invest time and money in an associate degree. Although it will take two years, the degree is well worth the effort.
Dental visits should increase in the next decade. The majority of patients will most likely be older patients. Human resource professionals predict this trend will last well into the next decade. Thus, trained dental assistants in the coming years will have job security.
Dental Assistant Schools in or near San Francisco
Roles and Responsibilities
Similar to a receptionist, the dental assistant makes contact with the patient first. Thus, interpersonal skills are crucial to success in this position. A pleasant demeanor sets the stage for a good experience for the patient. Safety and trust are two feelings the patient should experience in the dentist office. If either of these are lacking, the patient may not return.
Also check out: