Is dental assisting a good career

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smlmar in Maryland

75 months ago

I have been an assistant for 2 1/2 years and many days , IT JUST SUCKS. We are overworked and understaffed. The three doctors are all arrogant and rude. They are all about the money, and will use you until you burn out. We don't even have a lunch break, because we have a constant schedule of patients. You have to eat your snacks when you can or you just won't get to eat.

The pay is not great either and there are no benefits. When ever the dentist decides he want to take a vacation you are out of work for the week. Or is you want to take a week off, he is less than thrilled because it messes up his schedule. He won't be able to have as heavy of a work load.

Like some of the other posters said, there is no respect given to assistants. Some days I regret that I did not go into another line of work. Some days I have no motivation to even go to work. The only thing good about the job is that the other two assistants are super nice and we get along great and look out for each other. If I didn't have them I would have quit by now.

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ALL DA'S NEED RESPECT in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

72 months ago

Giving a DDS a licenses, is giving them a licenses to ROB & STEEL. Almost ALL are thieves. If not for DA's they would not have a practice. When you enter the office you are entering into a hrly relationship, with abuse!
Neither OSHA nor the Government monitors the Dental Dirty Crooks, they need to be REGULATED! I have seen so much stuff that if I was to write a book I would have to go into hiding for life. I have seen them charge their own parents, {who paid for their education}, take the last $$ of the elderly, do work that is not needed. They claim to be so high and mighty. You all are correct, 98% do NOT provide benefits. If you need work done they make you pay for it, or refuse to help. They are predigest in all breeds. They do not follow HOSA Laws. It is sad because it needs to be looked into. Talking cross-contamination!
My family asked to follow my footsteps, I refused to allow it.
If you say Kaplan is regret! Please don't go to Sanford Brown Inst. They are a Rip-off!!
THINK AGAIN ABOUT THE DISAPOINTING CAREER AS A “DENTAL ASSISTANT” I Have 20+ yrs. I am trying to get out.
Good Luck to All DA’s

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Nichole in Saint Louis, Missouri

67 months ago

Thank you for the comment:} It is really true my flat mate is a Dr.. he was telling me how their scores were so low that had to do dental He He. Do you work for an ass hole at this time :}

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Gracie

67 months ago

Ive worked as a Dental assistant for 3 yrs now. I LOVE IT! Don't get me wrong, there are days that are stressful, but that's every career. Anyways my boss is awesome. Treats his patients so well and is protective of his staff. He wants a happy staff and happy patients. The pay is great, Benefits and all that fun stuff. He paid for me to go to school and get my license. Everyday is different, definitely doesn't get boring. Its hard to find a nice doctor to work for... I lucked out! I disagree with the whole "dead end job" thing. I am a single mom and I am going to school for Dental Hygienist, working as a assistant has helped! My daughter's father is a complete tool and has paid not one dime in child support, which is fine (she doesn't deserve is jerk as a father) because thanks to my dental assistant position Ive been able to pay for my car, rent, food, clothes, school and still have money left over to spend on whatever. And best part is, I ONLY work 4 days a week. I highly recommend dental assisting as a career. BUT JUST MAKE SURE YOU LOOK AROUND BECAUSE I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WORKS IN ANOTHER OFFICE AND HER BOSS IS CHEAP! SHE ONLY GETS $12 AND HOUR.

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dmarz in Washington, District of Columbia

67 months ago

I was considering to go to the dental assistant program here in Maryland. I have been looking more for an accredited dental assistant school than just a 3 month training, which doesn't even have an externship because I thought, once graduated, it would be a lot better for me, but after reading all these comments, I am thinking twice to spend 10 months in school and more than $18,000.

I love the dental field and after seeing the demand of dental assistants nationwide, more than dental hyg, correct me if I am wrong, I decided to go for it. Also, I have heard from some people, who are dental hyg, that is better to gain some experience as dental assistant and then go for dental hyg. Dental hyg school can be overwhelming with no experience.

I need some advice from everyone. Does anyone know if it's worthed to spend time and money in an accredited progam? or is it enough to attend one of these short trainings to be able to gain some experience and then go for dental hyg?. Is it easy to find a job with the short training? because I have seen many adds that look for certified, experience, and x-ray certified dental assistants.

PLEASE HELP!!!!

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DentalGuru2009 in Richmond, Illinois

67 months ago

I know a tremendous amount about dentistry, though, I never went to dental asst school. I learned
from a few great docs in my early years. This took many years. Not sure if in today's offices you
can find that kind of training.
Assisting school sounds like a good start , but finding the "right" office for externship is key. Without
those willing to really explain and train you - it is worthless.
There is just so much that without hands-on training you can grasp.
If you understand "dentistry" well, (not just dental -assisting) you will be respected by the doctor....
There is a difference.

School+ find a doctor willing to train (perhaps an older doc)

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salliebear in mexia, Texas

67 months ago

Unhappy CDA in Brantford, Ontario said: All of these comments are so True!! I have been a CDA for 3.5 years and I totally regret it. Being a dental assistant is just a glorified maid. We do all the dirty work and get NO respect at all for it. The Dentists are all Money hungry and do not care about you at all.They overwork you, do not care if you ever get a break and make it very well known to you that you are completley disposible. I laugh when the new girls come in smiling and eager to please not truly knowing what they are getting themselves into. I am sorry that I spent my time and money on schooling for this position only to be disappointed in the end. My only advise for anyone considering to be a dental assistant is..... RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!!!

I wish I had known about this forum before I went to training for DA. I wasted two thousand bucks. Threw it out the window. The pay sucks. And that is if you can even get a job. I feel terribly sorry for the ones who really can't afford to spend money training for a job they will probably never get. thanks for your honesty.

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me in az in Peoria, Arizona

67 months ago

With any job there is always going to be people that we have to answer to. Everyone has a boss. I do not see being a DA any different. In the medical field I would suppose that a DA could be compared to an LPN since her boss is the RN and then the doctor. I see LPN as a nice little career with a year of schooling that gets you into the workforce, and that is respectable. People here seem to compare being a DA to working at Mc Donalds or something. I think being a DA is respectable. I believe if you know your place, show from within your happiness with who you are, then you will be respected. It is when people want to be more, and they do not know how to get along with authority that people began to hate their jobs.

I like one of the previous post were the DA says, "hey, because of this job I am my own women, who can pay my bills and take care of my kid." That is very respectable. I say if DA is too low for you than maybe you should be the office manager, try to go for it or maybe if you feel the doctor does not care enough for the patients than go back to school and become the doctor, but please do not discourage people from wanting to earn an honest living doing something!

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jamie in York, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

I am a CDA and a EFDA. I have been inthe field for over ten years. I have a lot of experience working with different offices and for different doctors.I also teach at one of those 12 month programs. My students get hired at a better rate and have a better grasp on the anatomy and terms that someone who jsut went for three months somehwere.I also work partime in a office and do all the hiring and the Dr will not let me hire someone with out dental experience. You will read all about the negative blogs on here and get discouraged. I have work hard all of my career and am very sucessful and have the respect from all the doctors that I have worked with. If you work hard and have a good attitude you will be sucessful and not misreable in your job. You may find one or two Drs that are jerks to have as a boss but the good ones are out there. my advice is to shadow as many offices that you can so you can see the varitey that is out there.

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Whitney in Augusta, Georgia

67 months ago

davidmg in Baldwinsville, New York said: My fiance is considering becoming a dental assistant in Syracuse NY. Her father has several dentists as clients in his business, He's telling her that his friends say dental assisting is a dead end job with bad pay no benefits no future and no respect. That is contrary to what i have found but shes questioning her plans. I need some input from young people in the field. Any information or experiences would be appreciated. Thankyou

Just found your post today. I hope you been moving in the direction of a great career. As a rule, any low end "assistant/technician" job is going to be on the low end of the pay scale. It's up to you to do your research (and apparently you are) and be realistic about what you can do with the money you will earn (i.e. raise children, put money away for retirement, etc.). If you are truly interested in the dental field, dental hygienists make good money, at least for supporting one person or as part of a working couple. Best of luck to you. Whitney

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

67 months ago

Gracie said: Ive worked as a Dental assistant for 3 yrs now. I LOVE IT! Don't get me wrong, there are days that are stressful, but that's every career. Anyways my boss is awesome. Treats his patients so well and is protective of his staff. He wants a happy staff and happy patients. The pay is great, Benefits and all that fun stuff. He paid for me to go to school and get my license. Everyday is different, definitely doesn't get boring. Its hard to find a nice doctor to work for... I lucked out! I disagree with the whole "dead end job" thing. I am a single mom and I am going to school for Dental Hygienist, working as a assistant has helped! My daughter's father is a complete tool and has paid not one dime in child support, which is fine (she doesn't deserve is jerk as a father) because thanks to my dental assistant position Ive been able to pay for my car, rent, food, clothes, school and still have money left over to spend on whatever. And best part is, I ONLY work 4 days a week. I highly recommend dental assisting as a career. BUT JUST MAKE SURE YOU LOOK AROUND BECAUSE I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WORKS IN ANOTHER OFFICE AND HER BOSS IS CHEAP! SHE ONLY GETS $12 AND HOUR.

You are very lucky. You found a nice doctor to work for. Dental assisting is an awesome career, but for some unless they find a good fit it can be debilitating in every way.
It is important to love what you do and enjoy the work place.
wish you lots of years of prosperity in you job.

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mindy in Etters, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

jamie in York, Pennsylvania said: I am a CDA and a EFDA. I have been inthe field for over ten years. I have a lot of experience working with different offices and for different doctors.I also teach at one of those 12 month programs. My students get hired at a better rate and have a better grasp on the anatomy and terms that someone who jsut went for three months somehwere.I also work partime in a office and do all the hiring and the Dr will not let me hire someone with out dental experience. You will read all about the negative blogs on here and get discouraged. I have work hard all of my career and am very sucessful and have the respect from all the doctors that I have worked with. If you work hard and have a good attitude you will be sucessful and not misreable in your job. You may find one or two Drs that are jerks to have as a boss but the good ones are out there. my advice is to shadow as many offices that you can so you can see the varitey that is out there.

i have similar experiance as you do, minus the tech school teaching. would you mind sharing your hourly compensation? what are you recommending your students request? thanks
/

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cassandra in Richmond, Virginia

66 months ago

Thanks for all of the comments. I was going to start a program: Dental Assisting but I think that is a not the right decision. The cost is $24,000 for an AAS degree. As a newly divorced Mom making 12 to 13 dollars an hours will not even cover the bills. Thanks for your candid opinions.

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Alicia in Minneapolis, Minnesota

66 months ago

davidmg in Baldwinsville, New York said: My fiance is considering becoming a dental assistant in Syracuse NY. Her father has several dentists as clients in his business, He's telling her that his friends say dental assisting is a dead end job with bad pay no benefits no future and no respect. That is contrary to what i have found but shes questioning her plans. I need some input from young people in the field. Any information or experiences would be appreciated. Thankyou

Hi!
well I have been dental assistant for 14 yrs & I made about 45,000 this year! I never intendeds to do this for long term but it has served me well! I live in minneapolis/St. Paul,mn which is a decent size city... I am 33 yrs old.. own a townhome by myself, drive a nice vehicle & still live decently & have extra $ to travel now & then....it may not be for everyone cause some DR's can be difficult to work with but you learn to demand the respect!! you will make NO money if you work in small rural areas & if you work for a specialist they pay more! I work for a endodontist ...also a great aspect is that you will always be able to find a job anywhere you move!!! i have never had a problem & I am doing alot better than quite a few of my friends that have bachelor or masters degrees who have been layed off do to company downsizeing!! hope this helps!! Alicia

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Alicia in Minneapolis, Minnesota

66 months ago

12 $$ an hour?? who is paying that?? that is terrible!! I make in the 25-30 range!!

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Allisha in Apollo, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

I can't believe how many bad comments are on here about a Dental Assistant. I'm starting the program for it next Fall. This site has really brought me down about it. The pay may not be GREAT but It's something to live off of. You'd get to see new people everyday. How can everyone be this pissed about where they work? If your dentist is a dick then leave?
I was going to go for hygiene..If I like the dental field I will continue.But the program for hygiene ISN'T easy to get into! The classes you take for it are very hard. EVERY job has bad. Nurses wipe asses and scrub balls( good things as well of course) sonographers give internal sonograms and such. EVERY job can be stressful. It's better than minimum wage.

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Allisha in Apollo, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

jamie in York, Pennsylvania said: Our students are starting out around 12- 13 dollars an hour with their x-ray cert. It depends on the area and the office. Now what I make an hour is closer to 30 but I have my EFDA

12-13 to start out sounds great! I hope I can find an entry level job whenever I graduate. Does getting your EFDA make a big difference then? I'm considering going for it when all is said and done maybe someday back for hygiene.Not sure yet.

30 an hour is awesome though!

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DivaTeeth in York, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

Hi everyone,
I am in school for Dental Assisting and got a job about 4 weeks ago. I got hired to do sterilization and hated it. Now I am being trained on the job for assisting. I get $11/hr salary. work Mon-Thurs., no lunch breaks. I am wondering if this pay is fair since I have no prior experience. What's the average pay for someone just starting out and when should I expect a raise? I will be getting my X-ray cert in the next months. I've been told I am doing extremely well, and learning very fast. I know I have to prove myself, but I don't want to get so discouraged and burnt out after just starting. I love the people I work with, yet feel very unappreciated and disposable at times. I just want to do the best job I can and be a team player. I feel if a dentist really values his employees he will certainly show it and make sure he treats them with respect no matter what their position is in the dental field. We each have a job to do. Just as the hand cannot function without the arm and the arm cannot without the shoulder and the neck not without the head and so on and so on... If everyone took a team player approach, including the boss the place would be a better environment for everyone, even the patients.

There are different levels of respect for authority, although we all should be treated with respect as human beings, and appreciated for the position we are in and the job we each fill.

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Allisha in Apollo, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

DivaTeeth in York, Pennsylvania said: Hi everyone,
I am in school for Dental Assisting and got a job about 4 weeks ago. I got hired to do sterilization and hated it. Now I am being trained on the job for assisting. I get $11/hr salary. work Mon-Thurs., no lunch breaks. I am wondering if this pay is fair since I have no prior experience. What's the average pay for someone just starting out and when should I expect a raise? I will be getting my X-ray cert in the next months. I've been told I am doing extremely well, and learning very fast. I know I have to prove myself, but I don't want to get so discouraged and burnt out after just starting. I love the people I work with, yet feel very unappreciated and disposable at times. I just want to do the best job I can and be a team player. I feel if a dentist really values his employees he will certainly show it and make sure he treats them with respect no matter what their position is in the dental field. We each have a job to do. Just as the hand cannot function without the arm and the arm cannot without the shoulder and the neck not without the head and so on and so on... If everyone took a team player approach, including the boss the place would be a better environment for everyone, even the patients.

There are different levels of respect for authority, although we all should be treated with respect as human beings, and appreciated for the position we are in and the job we each fill.

I would think you'll get paid more after you get x-ray certified.Do you like your job now?

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DivaTeeth in York, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

Allisha in Apollo, Pennsylvania said: I would think you'll get paid more after you get x-ray certified.Do you like your job now?

Hi Allisha in Apollo,
Thanks for your response! I do like my job, but have never seen such caddishness on the job ever before. I like the people I work with, but everyone is soooo moody! I just keep to myself and stay out of the drama as much as possible. The Dr.'s I work for are really nice, but can be moody as well. I guess if I had all they had to deal with day in and day out I may be somewhat moody as well.

I was told in class that we would start out making $13-16/hr. I hope I will be making much more than I am now soon! I will take it all in at this job and if the Dr.s won't give me a decent raise after I get much better and feel comfortable doing more than I am now, and have learned the job yet with no decent raise. I'm gone! I am a hard worker, and really apply myself at my job and I know I bring value to the workplace in many ways. Not only do you have to know how to do your job, but you do have to know how to be a team player and work well with other personalities. :)

I love the forums and glad to share in all the great info! Thanks! :D

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DivaTeeth in York, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

davidmg in Baldwinsville, New York said: My fiance is considering becoming a dental assistant in Syracuse NY. Her father has several dentists as clients in his business, He's telling her that his friends say dental assisting is a dead end job with bad pay no benefits no future and no respect. That is contrary to what i have found but shes questioning her plans. I need some input from young people in the field. Any information or experiences would be appreciated. Thankyou

I don't believe Dental Assisting is a "dead-end" job with bad pay no benefits, no future and no respect. I believe that anything in the dental field or health field is a respectful profession. My family gets free dental care and insurance which is awesome. There are also many perks and bonuses with my job, it all depends on where you get the job and who you work for. I just started with no experience at all and the Docs I work for are great. They can be moody at times, but it is a somewhat stressful field and you're dealing with the public and sometimes disgruntled people and causing pain to patients, but for their own good to save their teeth!

You've gotta start somewhere, and if you want to jump right into working and get experience in the dental field, assisting is a good place to start. I personally will continue in assisting and then either go for Dental Hygiene or EFDA.

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jamie in York, Pennsylvania

65 months ago

yes having your EFDA can be a big help depending on the stat ou arein and the DR.

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Kay1984 in Boston, Massachusetts

65 months ago

DivaTeeth in York, Pennsylvania said: Hi everyone,
I am in school for Dental Assisting and got a job about 4 weeks ago. I got hired to do sterilization and hated it. Now I am being trained on the job for assisting. I get $11/hr salary. work Mon-Thurs., no lunch breaks. I am wondering if this pay is fair since I have no prior experience. What's the average pay for someone just starting out and when should I expect a raise? I will be getting my X-ray cert in the next months. I've been told I am doing extremely well, and learning very fast. I know I have to prove myself, but I don't want to get so discouraged and burnt out after just starting. I love the people I work with, yet feel very unappreciated and disposable at times. I just want to do the best job I can and be a team player. I feel if a dentist really values his employees he will certainly show it and make sure he treats them with respect no matter what their position is in the dental field. We each have a job to do. Just as the hand cannot function without the arm and the arm cannot without the shoulder and the neck not without the head and so on and so on... If everyone took a team player approach, including the boss the place would be a better environment for everyone, even the patients.

There are different levels of respect for authority, although we all should be treated with respect as human beings, and appreciated for the position we are in and the job we each fill.

I'm not sure what the average salary is for a CDA in Pennsylvania, but your pay seems a little on the low side. I worked in NH for a while and was making $18 an hour to start with full benefits.

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adegar in Delray Beach, Florida

64 months ago

the problem with Dental assistant job is that no one care the state is not envolve, if you are lucky and find a good dentist that pays you good money keep it because some dentist just want all the money for themselves they gave no benefits but they do large purchases with their money,MECEDES bmw AND SO ON and never cross their mine to give a bonus rase, I being a dental assistant for about 3 years and had no been luky enought to find a job with any type oF benefts I work with a ass hole dentist that is very rude treat his stuff like no one diserve to be treated and humiliate his assistant in front of his patients. because his know how hard is to get a job right now with this economic. soon I find a better place I rushing out of there, and so is every body else in that office

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oldstudent724 in New York

64 months ago

I find the last two comments very helpful and think they speak from age and experience. I'm pushing 40 and am just now finishing DA school. I have a BA in a totally unrelated field that, in this economy, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. This is not some kind of "put down," but I don't think those employed in the medical field realize just how bad the job market is today in other professions. The medical disciplines are the only ones thriving. There are several fields that are just shriveling up - not thriving like dentistry. Many of us jumping ship are happy to take $14 an hour if it means future security. In my old career, you could find yourself unemployed for years. When you finally do get called for an interview, there are literally 100 applicants coming through the door as you leave.
So, I went back to school. At my age, DA school was quick and to the $point.
Before starting, I browsed these boards. All the threads about the hygienists being “diva's” and the doctors being “eccentric” and demanding. Do you all realize how lucky you are to be employed right now at all???? I don’t know, maybe I've just been blessed in my two offices....OR, maybe it’s just knowing what the alternatives have to offer out there in other fields. You quickly learn how to appreciate what you have. I rather like dental assisting…and I’ve held a lot of jobs in many different capacities during my life. And, heaven forbid, I love my hygienists…and even the doctors. Yes, they are very particular…but, who wants a dentist who ISN’T?!?!? I like people who take pride in their work. And, so what if a hygienist wants me to bag her instruments – I sort of assumed that’s my job as ASSISTANT. I also know that, in a pinch, she’s also the first person to jump in and lend me a hand when I need it. (continued below)

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oldstudent724 in New York

64 months ago

The only problem I have is feeling like the “old lady” who may not be able to “keep up” with the “kids." I have no visions of grandeur – I realize that being an assistant is a supporting role…and I’m fine with that.
I think a lot of the DAs that “hate” the field are the kids just out of high school, who really don’t have an idea of what having a job really means. It doesn’t matter what you do in life – there will always be someone who talks down to you, disciplines you, orders you around, or does something else you don’t like. It’s called LIFE. Unless you hit Lotto, you develop a thick skin and take as much from them as they take from you! Push the “garbage” aside and realize what's important to you in your life. And, yes, I’m sure I’ll hear comments to the contrary but, there is something to be said for life experience – no matter what field you’re in. I go to work and I do what I’m told because that’s what I'm paid to do. They take from me as much as I take from them: I do what’s necessary to help the office run smoothly and, in turn, I earn a stable income for my family. For me, THAT’S what it’s all about. I have a boss paying me a great starting wage, paid lunch, paid uniforms, free dental care, paid office outings…and she’s apologetic when the practice is hectic as she doesn’t want me to bolt out the door for good!? Someone please tell me where else you can find this today?!? My husband works in the newspaper industry – in that world? If you’re not willing to report from a cave in Afghanistan for minimum wage you can kiss your job goodbye – forget about perks like paid lunches and dental…he has to empty his own trash since they laid off the maintenance crew hahaha!
I think those who have experienced hardships in other careers would be thankful for that DA job. I think those DA’s that think their world sucks would be very surprised by what’s happening out there in other fields. There is no “golden ticket” today…

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jane in Buffalo, New York

64 months ago

you are exactly right- i agree with you 100 %- i to went back to school at 40- ish i have been a da for 3 years now and love my job and the staff i work with- granted the first office i worked in changed staff more then people change their underwear- i lasted ayear there- and i saw why peolpe were leaving left and right- long long ridiculous hours- horrible da pay - ect-- but lucked out and found a great doctor and staff-i have been there2 years now and feel like i have been there forever- we all get along-no cattiness- no backstabbing no acting like a five yearolds- love love my job!!!

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jane in Buffalo, New York

64 months ago

ageee with you 200 %--- same with me--

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jean in Belfast, United Kingdom

63 months ago

I have over 20 years experience as A dental nurse and I can honestly say I love the job! I have had the odd nasty dentist to work with but have changed jobs and found most of them are great to work with. Yes it is nice when they appreciate how hard you work and yes you do work hard! My wages are good and I get a good bonus at xmas and a thankyou at the end of the day so I am one of the lucky ones don't let anyone put you down at your work we have our rights so dont stay anywhere you are not happy and if you go for an interview for a job try to get talking to the other staff and find out what it is like to work there if you can. good luck!

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Mark Mann in Sugar Land, Texas

63 months ago

foreigner@bellsouth.net in Greensboro, North Carolina said: I have been a dental assistant for 25 yrs. 23 of them have been spent working at a dental school. The other 2 in private practice. Even though the school doesn't pay as much the benefits,retirement & job security out weight working in private practice anyday. Most dentist in private practice are jerks & are all about the money. That is why I perfer working at a dental school. Training them instead of working for them!

If you have only worked 2 years in a private dental practice, Who are you to state "Most dentist((s)sp?) in private practice are jerks & are all about the money. I am a dentist in the Houston Texas area and Houston alone has approximately 3500 dentists in private practice. Your "sour grapes" statement without any proof to back it up is very irresponsible and offensive to dentists and any other staff members who love their careers.

What is the primary and most significant attribute of a good career? Is it your salary? Of course it is! Money is why we all work. It is the source that we must use to sustain our lifestyle and to support our families. The other benefits are nice, but they don't put food on the table. Yet, bigger money always follows the risk takers. If you want to make more money, then you must take more risks yourself, and stop working for someone who already has. Otherwise, you should respect and honor those risk-takers such as dentists and other small business owners who provide honorable and fulfilling careers to their supporting employees. For more information about taking risks and making more money read the book "Automatic Wealth" by Michael Masterson.

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Mark Mann in Sugar Land, Texas

63 months ago

Neptune in Elk Grove, California said: wow. I had no idea that life as a da was like this. I was thinking about entering in this career in the spring. As of right now, I'm still deciding whether vocational or community college is the best way to go, but i had no idea it was like this......

It's not, these are just people who are venting their inadequacies and frustrations! If you make an effort to be a good employee, you will love your job and if you don't, keep looking for the right fit as a dental assistant and you will find it.

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tavia in Dallas, Texas

61 months ago

hi im octavia jones i from dallas tx. i went to school for dental back in 4 -22 -2009. ive been looking very hard im stating to give up but i not a quicker i love to learn from other the hold dental thing not very many people went to school but they have a job in the dental office . sometimes i wonder . i just want to get my hands moving in make a wonderful smile to wonderdful faces. dallas tx dental office hire who they want not caring about what a person feelings . in the hispanic ladys they have the spot over the black sister, not all the time . i love hispanic. IF ANYONE READ THIS IN WOULD LIKE TO EMAIL ME PLEASE DO SO. ambitious_jones@yahoo.com

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bree in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

hmm so im thinking of going to school to be a d.a. but everyones comments are so negative! is it really that bad :-/ i really wanted to go to school for this a nd was all hyped up about it. im 20 years old with a 1 year old daughter. do you think this would be a good start off for me being young? would it be better to work at a private practice office? the school here is not that expensive i think its only 3,500 so they say.and do all dental offices offer insurances or depends on the office? thanks a lot i hope i get feed back!

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bree in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

hmm so im thinking of going to school to be a d.a. but everyones comments are so negative! is it really that bad :-/ i really wanted to go to school for this a nd was all hyped up about it. im 20 years old with a 1 year old daughter. do you think this would be a good start off for me being young? would it be better to work at a private practice office? the school here is not that expensive i think its only 3,500 so they say.and do all dental offices offer insurances or depends on the office? thanks a lot i hope i get feed back!

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jean in Belfast, United Kingdom

61 months ago

I love my job but to tell you the truth If I were young and starting over no I wouldn't go in to dental nursing. Better to go and train as a nurse for a career. If you are thinking ahead and want to get somewhere by all means think of something else.
If you are just looking for a part time job like I have if you find yourself in a nice practice with nice staff and a boss who treats you fair you will enjoy the job. The only step up is to become a hygenist and lets face it do you really want to be scaling teeth all day how boring is that!!

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bree in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

jean in Belfast, United Kingdom said: I love my job but to tell you the truth If I were young and starting over no I wouldn't go in to dental nursing. Better to go and train as a nurse for a career. If you are thinking ahead and want to get somewhere by all means think of something else.
If you are just looking for a part time job like I have if you find yourself in a nice practice with nice staff and a boss who treats you fair you will enjoy the job. The only step up is to become a hygenist and lets face it do you really want to be scaling teeth all day how boring is that!!

what about and orthodontic assistant? do you have to take extra classes for that? would u happen to know about that?

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bree in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

and thanks for letting me know. i really want to work in the dental feild i think it would be easy. i dont have a job right now so i want to go to school for this since its a fast thing to do...im so confuseddd >:o why does everyone hate this job lol

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papillonrescuer in Richmond, Virginia

61 months ago

dmarz in Washington, District of Columbia said: I was considering to go to the dental assistant program here in Maryland. I have been looking more for an accredited dental assistant school than just a 3 month training, which doesn't even have an externship because I thought, once graduated, it would be a lot better for me, but after reading all these comments, I am thinking twice to spend 10 months in school and more than $18,000.

I love the dental field and after seeing the demand of dental assistants nationwide, more than dental hyg, correct me if I am wrong, I decided to go for it. Also, I have heard from some people, who are dental hyg, that is better to gain some experience as dental assistant and then go for dental hyg. Dental hyg school can be overwhelming with no experience.

I need some advice from everyone. Does anyone know if it's worthed to spend time and money in an accredited progam? or is it enough to attend one of these short trainings to be able to gain some experience and then go for dental hyg?. Is it easy to find a job with the short training? because I have seen many adds that look for certified, experience, and x-ray certified dental assistants.

PLEASE HELP!!!!

I am starting an accredited program in the fall but before I started I looked into hygenist school before decideding on starting dental assisting. I have finaical reasons ( 18000 is alot mine is a little over 5,000)In VA they have AS and BS for DH. I went to ODU info section which included a tour. The head of the program sent a few years as a DA before going on for her DH and then her masters. There is nothing wrong with working up the ladder. She said that being a DA helps her with patients. DH can't talk about treatment options, they mainly just clean teeth. They offer you points and class credit for being a dental assistant.

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casandra in Richmond, Virginia

61 months ago

Please check your community college for a DA program. The one in Richmond,VA is great and cost only $3000.00 a year.

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bree in Las Vegas, Nevada

61 months ago

working as a D.A do you guys see nasty things like herpies a lot?

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jensen40 in Morrison, Colorado

61 months ago

Hi there! Thank you so much for your posting! I an in the exact same position, just turned fourty and in this economy my BA degree gets me about as far as I can throw it! I have been searching for new career options and training that A) won't break my bank account (because it really wouldn't take much! B) has good future potential for continued employability & C) pays a decent living wage (not expecting to get rich here, just want to pay the bills). I have been very discouraged by all the negative postings and understand that finding the right office is key but in my years of experience I really couldn't point to one job that I have ever "loved"- the best really was someplace where I didn't mind getting up everyday and going to work instead of wishing I had the plague and couldn't make it to work. I will continue to explore this is a good option and which schools are best recommended, etc...thank you for your uplifting and realistic posting.

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Dental Guru in Genoa City, Wisconsin

61 months ago

jensen40 in Morrison, Colorado said: Hi there! Thank you so much for your posting! I an in the exact same position, just turned fourty and in this economy my BA degree gets me about as far as I can throw it! I have been searching for new career options and training that A) won't break my bank account (because it really wouldn't take much! B) has good future potential for continued employability & C) pays a decent living wage (not expecting to get rich here, just want to pay the bills). I have been very discouraged by all the negative postings and understand that finding the right office is key but in my years of experience I really couldn't point to one job that I have ever "loved"- the best really was someplace where I didn't mind getting up everyday and going to work instead of wishing I had the plague and couldn't make it to work. I will continue to explore this is a good option and which schools are best recommended, etc...thank you for your uplifting and realistic posting.

Dentistry is fun when you have two things... A) A real PASSION for dentistry,and B) great office of good people to work with.
I am your age and can say Im on the old end of the assistant spectrum . This job always attracts the younger girls. It's hard on the body and the hrs are demanding.
Dentistry is a great field for those who go in because of the dentistry.

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restorationgirl in Asheville, North Carolina

60 months ago

Alicia in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: 12 $$ an hour?? who is paying that?? that is terrible!! I make in the 25-30 range!!

Doesn't it depend on what procedures you're expected to do according to your state's licensing? I'm just finishing school, but it seems to me the job responsibilities can vary greatly from state to state. Also, from what I understand, since you can get hired off the street as a dental assistant or go to an accredited college such as AB Tech and come out with a Dental Assistant II ready for you CDA exam - doesn't that have a lot to do with pay as well? Pay does seem to vary a great deal. Alicia, how many years have you worked, did you go to college, what degree did you come out with, what procedures are you expected to know that may be the reason you are getting the pay you deserve, etc? It would be interesting to know the particulars of everyone behind the pay!

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restorationgirl in Asheville, North Carolina

60 months ago

jensen40 in Morrison, Colorado said: Hi there! Thank you so much for your posting! I an in the exact same position, just turned fourty and in this economy my BA degree gets me about as far as I can throw it! I have been searching for new career....... etc"

I'm 44:all my life worked cust. service/retail:absolute dead end and under $10/hr pay. I wanted something in health care for security, decent pay I could support myself on (still single), no crazy hrs. If saliva and blood doesn't bother you I highly encourage you to consider dental assisting. I couldn't be happier with my choice! Shadow several dental assistants in general practice as well as specialty:endodontics, orthodontics, prostodontics, oral and maxillary surgery - at least read about the options. Maybe teachers at a school in your area could get you in touch with other 'older' students (like both of us) who have graduated and are working so you can ask them if they like their choice. Compared to all of my previous jobs dental assisting to me is a dream: Work M-Th, dentist pays to have whole office travel to nice places for continuing credit hours for certification, good to very good pay, good benefits, security (the dentist is ALWAYS going to need another pair of hands and someone to help him do his job, nice atmosphere. Don't believe all the negative comments: There are good dentists out there like my last clinical rotation I just got done with for my dental assisting class at AB Tech in Asheville NC. At that particular office the dentists paid for all 6 employees to go to Hawaii for a particular seminar for continuing education credit hours - sweet! Dentists get stressed like any other 'boss' and you just deal with it: THAT'S LIFE! I think if some of the people who are negative about dental assisting had worked in retail or customer service most of their lives before that, they'd have a different opinion based on reality. I'd be happy to talk or answer more questions for you if I can.

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restorationgirl in Asheville, North Carolina

60 months ago

Nichole in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I have been an assistant for 21 years. I have been happy maybe 4 of those years.I was very close to getting out of the field then i started my new job 3 months ago. The Dentist is actually a decent human being and does great work.98% of the Dentist out there have a huge chip on their shoulder. You know what they say " The ones that could not make Medical School went to Dental School"

Wow. That's really cruel! Who says dentists can't cut it in medical school? I'd love to see most medical doctors try to do extremely detailed work in a confined area, two inch by three inch opening down to the very tiny mouth of a three year old, with another set of hands in the same area (us dental assistants) - it's like working in the small open neck of a bottle assembling a ship!

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Kathy in Orlando, Florida

60 months ago

Restorationgirl, are you sure u are a dental asst? U sound so familiar to me...like those dentists, that I saw in my NIGHTMARES when I used to assist them...Ha-ha-ha...for $12 per hour...lol...Doesn't it seem strange that patients all of ages loved me to "death" and wanted only my assisting...not other girls... And my "Ex" dentists just was freaking out of that...lol...My perfect X-rays, temporaries, impressions (never gagging patients ) just made dentists feel, like they can do nothing in Dentistry!...lol And, by the way, I am Computer Educated too...

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jane in Wallingford, Connecticut

60 months ago

me in az in Peoria, Arizona said: With any job there is always going to be people that we have to answer to. Everyone has a boss. I do not see being a DA any different. In the medical field I would suppose that a DA could be compared to an LPN since her boss is the RN and then the doctor. I see LPN as a nice little career with a year of schooling that gets you into the workforce, and that is respectable. People here seem to compare being a DA to working at Mc Donalds or something. I think being a DA is respectable. I believe if you know your place, show from within your happiness with who you are, then you will be respected. It is when people want to be more, and they do not know how to get along with authority that people began to hate their jobs.

I like one of the previous post were the DA says, "hey, because of this job I am my own women, who can pay my bills and take care of my kid." That is very respectable. I say if DA is too low for you than maybe you should be the office manager, try to go for it or maybe if you feel the doctor does not care enough for the patients than go back to school and become the doctor, but please do not discourage people from wanting to earn an honest living doing something!

No one is discouraging anyone, we are simply exchanging true stories that happened. Maybe if the doctors showed respect, then those who shared could post more favorable posts about working as a DA. Being treated like a door mat regardless of what you do, does nothing to improve relationships not with your staff and not with the patients who are sensitive to this treatment. Hopefully for these spoiled brat doctors they will experience bad karma.

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Kathy in Orlando, Florida

60 months ago

Jane, I agree with you!

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jane in Wallingford, Connecticut

60 months ago

bree in Las Vegas, Nevada said: working as a D.A do you guys see nasty things like herpies a lot?

Not yet, just really really bad breath, gums and teeth that have never been taken care of. Sometimes the smell and the sight of no to little oral hygiene is so bad your lucky you do not loose your lunch. Hep B and C is unseen and the real danger for DA and anyone working within this field

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Kathy in Orlando, Florida

60 months ago

Yah, and also needle stick are very common issue in dentistry. If you work with Digital X-rays,it's good, 90% less radiation! But if not, even if you stay 6 feet away from source, if machines are old, there is leakage radiation, which can damage your health and your future kids as well! I read in articles, that some of "cold sterilizers", if lids of containers are not locked when are not used, if you smell them constantly, it can damage your health too. Assistants experience early miscarriages during pregnancy. Did you know about that?

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