Dental Assistants perform many duties that aid in creating a smooth running dental office. They are usually seen sterilizing, disinfecting, and cleaning instruments. They will prepare the area for patient treatment, by laying out all materials, instruments, or equipment. Dental Assistants are also heavily involved with dental procedures, and are seen assisting the dentist by providing instruments, suctioning the patients’ mouth, and giving instruction to patients as mandated by the dentist.
Laboratory duties are an additional responsibility to Dental Assistants. Such duties often include, processing dental x-rays, removing sutures, preparing impressions, preparing restorations, making temporary crowns, and applying topical agents to gums or teeth.
More importantly, many Dental Assistants are required to perform work in the front office. Their responsibilities usually include, making appointments, order dental supplies, receive patients, send/receive bills, and maintain patients’ records.
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Salaries for Dental Assistants in Arkansas
The average salary for Dental Assistants is approximately $28,590. In addition to paid wages, some Dental Assistants are offered benefits such as paid vacations, provided that they are hired as a full-time employee. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Training for Dental Assistants in the Arkansas
Many Dental Assistants are trained by attending a 1 year Dental Assisting program that is usually offered by community colleges, trade schools, or a technical training institute. However many states will require additional certification or licensing if the student would like to be involved with more advanced functions, such as radiological procedures.
Is Financial Aid Available?
You may qualify for financial aid while taking Dental Assisting courses. It is advised that you check with your schools financial aid department. However, you may also visit www.fafsa.ed.gov and fill out the application.
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