No one enjoys a trip to the dentist. But the dentist’s office would be even more stressful without dental assistants. The dental assistant provides crucial support for the dentist, allowing for a greater focus on the patient. The assistant also supports the dental hygienist in many offices. While the tasks may seem small, they provide for increased comfort for the patient and improved organization for the dentist.
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About Dental Assistant Careers in Montana
The dental assistant’s job often begins with the organization of the examination room. He or she must make sure that each of the tools is clean, sterile, and working properly. The tools must be placed for easy access for the dentist. Then, during the examination or procedure, the assistant must be ready to hand tools to the dentist, or to aid in suctioning or retracting an area to clear obstructions to the dentist’s vision. Some dental assistants create patient charts, or even help in the radiology lab.
Dental Assistant Salaries in Montana
In the United States, the average dental assistant salary is around $33,470 per year . The salaries start low, but increase with experience, with some assistants making $46,000 or slightly above. In Montana, the salaries are slightly below average. The average annual salary for Montana dental assistants is $31,190. While some dental assistants learn their trade “on the job” in a dentist’s office, according the the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, more and more are attending dental-assisting programs. Some of these programs take as little as one year. Job prospects should be quite good, because dentists are hiring more assistants so that they can focus more on their patients, and perform more complicated procedures. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
Montana Dental Assistant Job Outlook
Most dental assistants concentrate their efforts to the Great Falls jobs market, because Great Falls has the greatest population. Billings and Missoula also have dental assistant jobs available. The highest median salary for dental assistants in Montana is in Missoula.
Roles and Responsibilities of Dental Assistants
The dental assistant’s job is to perform the tasks that keep the office working smoothly and efficiently. The tasks may seem insignificant, but they are of great importance to the focus of the dentist and the comfort of the patient.
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