Dental procedures are often not something that people look forward to having done, but having a competent and personable dentist makes the whole situation much smoother. The job of a dentist is complex and requires the dentist to work in tight places. Dental assistants help dentists perform procedures with precision and ease.
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Being a Dental Assistant in Nebraska
Dental assistants are an essential part of the dental process from the moment the patient gets in the office. Dental assistants inform patients of procedures and postoperative care. Assistants often perform a number of tasks including preparing materials for impressions, processing x-rays, removing stitches, applying anesthetics, making temporary crowns, and so on. Some dental assistants also have office duties such as scheduling appointments, receiving patients, receiving payments, and keeping records on patient treatments. Dental assistants are an important part of every dental office visit as they work closely with the dentist. Dental assistants shouldn’t be confused with dental hygienists, however, who are qualified to perform different tasks.
Dental Assistant Work Environment
Dental assistant usually work in well-lit, clean, dental offices. They are situated near the dentist chairs so they can make instruments ready for the dentist and his/her procedures. Dental assistants have to wear masks, gloves, and protective clothing to protect themselves from infectious diseases. In 2010, over half of dental assistants worked full-time thirty-five to forty hour weeks. Other dental assistants only work part-time, or with flexible schedules.
Dental Assistant Educational Requirements
Most dental assistants learn their skills from on the job training. There are training programs available by community colleges and technical universities. Most training programs can be completed in approximately one year.
Earnings and Outlook in Nebraska for Dental Assistants
Dental assistants in Nebraska made an average salary of $32,130 before taxes. Of course, there are higher end and lower paying jobs as dental assistants as well, depending on the location of the job and the qualifications of the dental assistant in question. Dental assistant careers are expected to increase, so there will be no shortage in jobs. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)
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