Salary for DA and RDA

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wow in Findlay, Ohio

41 months ago

hey smile for me in florida. dont know what attority your think you have to discredit someone that has worked hard for their title. i have been a dental assistant that has constantly worked for more over the years and consider myself to be a hard worker. wont throw my titles out there in fear you will try and make fun of me too. lets just say that if you are a hard worker and do your job well, you deserve to put the credentials behind your name. remember your job maybe a dime a dozen also. have a good one

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Janie in Fort Wayne, Indiana

41 months ago

I am considering enrolling in the Dental Assisting program at Ross Medical Education Center in Fort Wayne, IN. Is there anyone out there who is currently enrolled or is a graduate of the program that is willing to give some insight as to the quality of the teachers and strength of the curriculum?

I have heard multiple negative comments posted about various other campuses and one negative comment regarding the Fort Wayne campus.

I would really appreciate and and all comments and insight regarding this trade school and the Dental Assisting program.

Thank you. :)

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Cara in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

Is it true that RDA's make more than dental assistants?

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Teresa

41 months ago

Yes RDA's are supposed to make more money. Also depens on the area and dentist

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jodi in Portland, Oregon

37 months ago

I was going to school for dental assisting. I have always loved teeth, but halfway through the program I realized that being in someone elses mouth was NOT for me. After reading most of the comments on this site, I am glad I changed my major. I am sorry that most of you have to work hard in school, then work looking for work, and then work even harder when you're hired only to be treated so poorly! For the record...patients appreciate all of you! My son has had alot of dental work done over the years, and he absolutely HATES going to the dentists! There have been times when he even jumped out of the dental chair, and refused to get back in it. If it weren't for hardworking, compassionate assistants my son probably would have never survived all of his dental visits. So from a mother, and from so many SCARED patients... WE THANK YOU, AND WE APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU!!! Thankyou!!

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blackzhem in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Gee.....I say, dental assisting is good when you want to weather off tough times or bad economy, but don't grow old in it! Get out of there and do something more useful and hopefully interesting with your life! Don't become a slave ! Yet.... many thanks to the kind and appreciative Mom for her kind words and compassion!

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Jo in Brentwood, Tennessee

37 months ago

Go be a hygienist, seriously bunch of whineys. You go to school for a year and think you deserve 100/ hr. Anyone can go pass DA school, it's not a course that requires much skill set, seriously people?? Goodness if you go get a quick education that literally almost anyone can do you're not going to get paid a lot for it. It seems like you all have gotten this huge sense of entitlement that you are some sort of god in the office, the hygienist can do everything you do and tons more, you do nearly nothing that makes the dentist money, you merely clean up, hand tools, and talk to patients the good ones take x-rays and maybe get to polish(legally). Get over yourselves and accept your $14/hr because you chose to take the easier route when you could have pushed yourself through hygiene school or dental school.

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Teresa in Clifton, New Jersey

37 months ago

I am a dental assistant and VERY proud of it. I do much more than smile at patients and clean rooms. Please get a grip. All of us whether we are assistants or hygienists we are all special. We help patients take better care of their teeth. Funny reading your comment. I kinda feel sorry for the people working with you. Your mind and imagination are so limited to labeling people. We all no matter if we clean rooms or actually assist and care for patients. We are providing a very valuable service.

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blackzhem in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Is that so?..... There are tons of hard working, good assistants who do pretty much everything, especially in private offices which don't get much of oversight.... those people save dentists a lot of time and..... money!!! I, personally know DAs who do polishing, light scale cleaning,cord packing,take X-Rays, make provisional crowns, even take final impressions, not to mention all the paperwork. Now, you tell me- don't they deserve a decent pay??? Tell me what you want, but the current situation is not because these people lack of some special skills/ knowledge, but because dental field is supposed to be a private sector and no one seems to care about what's going on there. Consider for example, how powerful grew nurses in defending their rights and paychecks! Do they have some exceptional skills or knowledge? I don't think so...

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Jo in Brentwood, Tennessee

37 months ago

You are the LPN to the RN... You do the crap because you haven't furthered your education, and face it some of the assistants cannot go any further than that. Hygiene school is tough, dental school is tougher, but assisting school is not. Look up LPN base salary, where I live they make about the same as assistants and hygienists make the same as RNs... You all don't get it, if you wanna complain about it, go back to school instead of settling for a 1 year course(depending on classes, that's what it is here). The reason the assistants I know are assistants is because they failed hygiene school or couldnt get accepted. It's just the facts and sometimes the truth hurts.

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dw in Frankfort, Indiana

37 months ago

Jo,
i was a RDA for several yrs and now in dental school working on my DDS! as an RDA i was making more then an RN's who went to school for 4yrs, i was making 24/hr for an ortho office! I know many dentist and hygienist who started out as assistants as well! Its not that assistants cant advance to hygienist or dentist its because most like where their at and really enjoying doing what they do best! Infact i think it should be a requirement for hyg and dentist to become an assistant first!

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sonia in Sacramento, California

37 months ago

Why do you come to this site to be rude we are professional people talking about are careers I have been an dentalk assistant for 21 yrs and an RDA for 1 yr I simply love the dental field and as far as undermining the profession and being rude is just not right anyway we don't get paid enough for all the BS and extra things the dr has us doing unless you have a good dr that knows if you treat your staff good they will be good to your practice dentist should put they self in our shoes come on people lets fight for more money not one another free speech I actually like reading how other dental professionals are handling things and that I am not alone

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Teresa in Edgewater, Maryland

36 months ago

I work as an CDA,RDA. It is very difficult sometimes to read these posts when the assistants are so negative. I just like many others am more than just a "suction" holder. I am damn good at my job. Lets the questions keep coming. Least we know there are some who really care to ask. Some just go stand there just to get paid.

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TAB in Toledo, Ohio

36 months ago

I HAVE AN INTERVIEW TO GO CHECK OUT A DENTAL ASSISTING SCHOOL TODAY AND AFTER READING ALL OF THESE POSTS I DONT KNOW IF I REALLY WANT TO GO NOW?!? IS IT REALLY THAT DEPRESSING OF A JOB? IVE WORKED IN MEDICAL OFFICES AS A RECEPTIONIST/SECRETARY FOR A FEW YEARS AND I KNOW THAT SOMETIMES THE JOB CAN BE STRESSFUL AND DEMANDING, THAT SOME PATIENTS APPTS WILL TAKE LONGER THAN EXPECTED THUS SETTING THE REST OF THE DAY BEHIND AND THIS CAN BE A VERY IRRITATING SITUATION FOR ALL INVOLVED HOWEVER IS IT REALLY AS BAD AS PPLE ARE MAKING IT SEEM HERE? IM LOOKING FOR A CAREER NOT JUST A JOB, BUT I BELIEVE I MAY BE HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING MY "NITCH" AS THEY CALL IT. IM NOT LOOKING FOR AN EASY JOB BUT RATHER ONE THAT WILL KEEP ME BUSY SO THAT THE DAY FLIES BY FASTER AND ONE THAT I CAN CONCIDER A CAREER NOT JUST A JOB! IF THIS FIELD OF WORK REALLY ISNT WORTH IT I DONT WANNA SPEND A WHOLE BUNCH OF MONEY JUST TO FIND OUT THAT THE PROFESSION IVE CHOSEN IS JUST A BIG JOKE AND WASTE OF TIME! PLEASE HELP ANY INFO IS MUCH APPRECIATED!!!

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Holly in Oakland, California

36 months ago

Don't waste your money on dental assisting school. You should look for dental offices that are willing to train and take advantage of the experience everyone in the office has. Dental assisting isn't a bad career, but you have to understand that the amount of money you'll be making will never be as much as the dental assisting schools say. Don't expect more than $35,000/year full-time after YEARS of experience. Seriously.

Don't go into debt ($10,000+) for assisting school. You won't make any more money than someone off the street. Do you know who teaches these classes or the qualifications they require??? It's a joke. The amount that they teach you is so small compared to the cost, you will learn all that in the 1st 6 months working for a good dentist.

Find an office that is looking for help and is willing to train. Ask them if they would be willing to let you 'shadow' for a few days (you want to find a doctor who likes to teach and is really willing to teach you) you need to know if you even like it before you jump in.

If you really want to make it a career, learn as much as you can about dental assisting. Take continuing education courses, attend seminars and try to get your CDA or RDA. Try to understand why the doctor performs a certain procedure or chooses one material over another, or why he/she uses a specific instrument. Always try to anticipate the doctor's needs. If you really want to stand out, take some science classes on the side (community colleges are cheap, have night courses and you'll learn the same stuff as a full college). A knowledge of anatomy, biology and basic psychology will give you a solid foundation.

I guess my point is, dental assisting can be a career if you take it seriously and make it your career. Dental assisting schools are a rip-off and will only put you in debt. Find a good office with a doctor who is patient and loves to teach, and save yourself from years of paying back a student loan.

Good luck!

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MsS in Winter Haven, Florida

36 months ago

Very informative Forum

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Krystal in Tulsa, Oklahoma

35 months ago

Anna in Anaheim, California said: I am a RDA with over twenty years in the field. I was making $21 an hour until the doctor decided to get rid of the cleanup person and assign the duties to me. The duties the doctor axpected me to do was clean both restrooms (including the doctor's), and the rest of the office. I did it a couple of times, then refused to continue being a cleanup person. So I got fired.

That's funny. I am a fully licensed assistant in Oklahoma and I am still working for my first office. I have about 2 years of experience and I started out making 9.00 with an associates in dental assisting. Even now with having my expanded function certificates, all of them (xray, polish, seal, n2o), I am making 11.75 and my first raise was ONLY because I said something after I found out a girl she hired started out at 10.00 when I was making 10.00 working my ass off for her (and that girl had NO experience at all)..if it wasnt for that I'd be fully licensed at 10.75. I would make more money as a checker at Aldi's grocery store, they make 11.50 an hour. Why should I expose myself to other people's body fluids for so little money?
Anyway my point on why I replied to your post is because the doctor made me start cleaning the office. I make 13.00 an hour to clean the office (yes, more than my wage. I get paid more to dust and clean the toilet than to do my expanded function duties of my field) But I only do it for bare minimum because I HATE getting there at 7 and not leaving until 6:30 as it burns me out. But yeah I even asked her if I could quit cleaning and she told me I could not. I was thinking about throwing the office key in her face and telling her to eff off..She in total pays me around 80 dollars a MONTH to clean the office around an hour a day. It's pretty much bullcrap. So I know how you feel there. I've been doing it close to 6 months now.

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Krystal in Tulsa, Oklahoma

35 months ago

Krystal in Tulsa, Oklahoma said: That's funny. I am a fully licensed assistant in Oklahoma and I am still working for my first office. I have about 2 years of experience and I started out making 9.00 with an associates in dental assisting. Even now with having my expanded function certificates, all of them (xray, polish, seal, n2o), I am making 11.75 and my first raise was ONLY because I said something after I found out a girl she hired started out at 10.00 when I was making 10.00 working my ass off for her (and that girl had NO experience at all)..if it wasnt for that I'd be fully licensed at 10.75. I would make more money as a checker at Aldi's grocery store, they make 11.50 an hour. Why should I expose myself to other people's body fluids for so little money?
Anyway my point on why I replied to your post is because the doctor made me start cleaning the office. I make 13.00 an hour to clean the office (yes, more than my wage. I get paid more to dust and clean the toilet than to do my expanded function duties of my field) But I only do it for bare minimum because I HATE getting there at 7 and not leaving until 6:30 as it burns me out. But yeah I even asked her if I could quit cleaning and she told me I could not. I was thinking about throwing the office key in her face and telling her to eff off..She in total pays me around 80 dollars a MONTH to clean the office around an hour a day. It's pretty much bullcrap. So I know how you feel there. I've been doing it close to 6 months now.

Let me also mention that I paid for my own certificates, about 1000 out of my own pocket. Epic fail.

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MDR in Brentwood, California

34 months ago

I finished school in July and I just got hired by the company I externed for. I am starting out at $16 hr and I don't have my RDA yet. Once I'm registered my pay will go up somewhere around $18. For my first job and working in general dentistry, I'm happy with my pay. I am working in the Bay Area in California which has great pay.

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Den in Kokomo, Indiana

34 months ago

Bay area pay should be more than that I was making that in Modesto

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ortho asst in Moreno Valley, California

33 months ago

beee in Citrus Heights, California said: i suggest you push-thru with the dental hygiene program. Finance your schooling, dont waste your time waiting for school lottery. Dental hygienists get the same pay as gen.dentists do with a limited scope of job, that's just scaling and prophylaxis. My niece just got her license as dental hygienist and shes making $50/hr at the minimum, being treated like a dentist, she doesnt have to work as hard (as a maid) as some of us RDA's do.Working beyond the scope of our job yet and paid low. Very rare that you'll find a fair dentist employer, most of them are just selfish, liar and insensitive. so, i say, go be a dental hygienist.

I'm a RDA & TIRED of not getting paid as a professional do u have any suggestion or tips like grants scholarships for dental hygiene school ? That's my problem financial hardship

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kneec in Bronx, New York

33 months ago

Krystal in Tulsa, Oklahoma said: That's funny. I am a fully licensed assistant in Oklahoma and I am still working for my first office. I have about 2 years of experience and I started out making 9.00 with an associates in dental assisting. Even now with having my expanded function certificates, all of them (xray, polish, seal, n2o), I am making 11.75 and my first raise was ONLY because I said something after I found out a girl she hired started out at 10.00 when I was making 10.00 working my ass off for her (and that girl had NO experience at all)..if it wasnt for that I'd be fully licensed at 10.75. I would make more money as a checker at Aldi's grocery store, they make 11.50 an hour. Why should I expose myself to other people's body fluids for so little money?
Anyway my point on why I replied to your post is because the doctor made me start cleaning the office. I make 13.00 an hour to clean the office (yes, more than my wage. I get paid more to dust and clean the toilet than to do my expanded function duties of my field) But I only do it for bare minimum because I HATE getting there at 7 and not leaving until 6:30 as it burns me out. But yeah I even asked her if I could quit cleaning and she told me I could not. I was thinking about throwing the office key in her face and telling her to eff off..She in total pays me around 80 dollars a MONTH to clean the office around an hour a day. It's pretty much bullcrap. So I know how you feel there. I've been doing it close to 6 months now.

WOW

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kneec in Bronx, New York

32 months ago

Jo in Brentwood, Tennessee said: You are the LPN to the RN... You do the crap because you haven't furthered your education, and face it some of the assistants cannot go any further than that. Hygiene school is tough, dental school is tougher, but assisting school is not. Look up LPN base salary, where I live they make about the same as assistants and hygienists make the same as RNs... You all don't get it, if you wanna complain about it, go back to school instead of settling for a 1 year course(depending on classes, that's what it is here). The reason the assistants I know are assistants is because they failed hygiene school or couldnt get accepted. It's just the facts and sometimes the truth hurts.[/QUOTE

not everyone who becomes a DA is a failed hygiene candidate. i did it b/c it was a quick way to earn money while going to school for nursing. also, there's only so much room at the top so everyone can't become a hygienist or dentist due to a number of reasons-family, financial, etc. besides, what would the dentist do without the DA? How's the view from your high horse?

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ortho asst in Los Angeles, California

32 months ago

Monica in San Diego, California said: I'm about to take my coronal polish course and try to get my RDA in November, but about to spend at least $400 doing it all.

I'm applying to hygiene school in January 2009 though and I'm at $13 an hour right now and not very experienced and from what it sounds like, although I love my boss, don't know if I'll be seeing much of a raise. To be honest I'll just have the title.

Worth it? or shall I wait to hear back from Hygiene school?

Just curious ! Did u apply 2 dental hyg school ?

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ortho asst in Los Angeles, California

32 months ago

Monica in Los Angeles, California said: If you have the time, honestly, (two to three years if you're quick) I would just be an RDH. I'm about to take my last class and apply. That's where the money is (and a better schedule, and a higher demand, and you essentially run your own show) I'm over assisting. I don't like surprises and rarely are there opportunities to move up. I would think the same goes for medical assisting. Realistically, we as assistants all put time in, and do way more than we should (as we often are the "faces" of the practice) However, the truth hurts, because there are so many of us now, we are seen as "replaceable," AND after becoming an RDA, you can only move so far up. This happens even in offices and with Drs that you may love to work for. If it helps though, I'd much rather be around saliva all day then anything else! Go with whatever interests you more. Good luck :)
did ou go 2 hyg

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ortho asst in Los Angeles, California

32 months ago

debbie in Norwalk, California said: I have been a dental assistant for 30 years and with the last Dr. for 26 years. Making $24.00 an hour and doing everything for his office. I took off for surgery for four months and came back and another girl kind of took over my position, Dr's. favorate (they say).I really thought this job was my life and the people there were my family. I got into it with this girl because she pushed me but that was ok, doctor didn't do anything about that, but when I called her a b.... for another incident she threatened him to get rid of me or else. So here Iam 26 years with him thought he was my family. Boy I should of pressed charges for the push but no Im not that kind of person.
did he fire u ?

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ortho asst in Los Angeles, California

32 months ago

kneec in Bronx, New York said:

Guess I should push myself into hyg school , & take a gamble. I've finished the pre-req. Ortho is fun but not secure . I'm just spinning my wheels but not going anywhere . I'm always complaining & ur right I should do something about it .

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supatra in San Francisco, California

31 months ago

I have been looking online for just this site. Been a RDA in SF for 14 yrs and working for a duel specialty practice. I was started out at $8 back in 1998 and now at $27. If you know anything about SF you might know that the cost of living is extremely high. I should be getting around $31-33 and I'm just now starting a serious search for a new office. My bosses (they are married) one a orthodontist and the other a pediatric dentist have taken advantage of not only me but my co-workers too. They don't follow the rules and like to make up their own. They don't pay sick days when the city has an ordinance that past in 2007, also they pay overtime only when they feel that you really earned it. My benefits are pretty much the same as someone who has worked there 3 yrs. I feel bad reading all these other post and can completely understand the advantage taken by these dentist. We should be more appreciated and compensated fairly! I have only had a $1 raise in the last 5 yrs and prior to that a $1.5 raise that i had to wait 3 yrs to get. Turnover has gotten really bad and now they have a lot of inexperienced newly graduated RDA'. Good luck to everyone in there jobs, hopefully i can find a dentist who knows what it takes to hire and keep a good RDA.

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Good Idea in Augusta, Georgia

31 months ago

Catherine in Temple Hills, Maryland said: You sound like a mirror image of me. I've have 25 years dental experience making $19.75 working 10hrs days with no lunch most of the time wanting a raise.I'm over work under paid with no appreciation. I have been putting more money in the dr's pocket than he in mine. I think we should be paid as professionals with all our hard work.

Maybe we should all take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and then several hundreds of thousands more to purchase/start up practices. Nearly a million dollars of investment in education and starting our businesses and then we can figure out how to make payroll, provide jobs for others, and pay off these debts. We can start our financial adulthood around age 30 if we are lucky (making sacrifices along the way). Maybe we can all be appreciated if we invest our money and time like they have. If not, we could just go occupy Wall Street.

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SherrieB in Oakland, California

30 months ago

lizzle in Sacramento, California said: Hi there!
I'm just curious to see what you all get paid as DA's and RDA's? I am just about to graduate my DA program and am a little unsure about what to ask for. Our teacher told us to do research for our area and field and not to under sell ourselves. Im trying to see what would be a reasonable wage to ask for.

Hi I live near Walnut Creek and was making $25 an hour with 10 years experience until I left due to neck pain. This was 5 years ago and I am trying to find work now with no luck. I have been on 8 or 9 interviews and make it to the working interview but never get offered the job! Very frustrating. I'm only asking $19 for 18 years experience!!! I am an awesome assistant who can do the work better than some orthodontists and treated my own children at home, lol! Where's the respect?

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Cyndi in Grand Rapids, Michigan

28 months ago

Becky in Berkeley, California said: I am concerned as I have an extensive accounting and customer service background and am currently a student for an RDA. I was under the impression with hard work and committment that I would at least be starting at $18.00 and hour. I think I might have made a mistake.

I have been working for almost 3 years and I am currently making 16.50. I started at 14, but my dentist/boss gives us raises every year. I guess it all depends on the dentist you work for and how well you do. My dentist has gone through many assitants but has said it takes someone with compassion to do this job and he believes we deserve more.....I see my self at 20 years of working as an assistant making near to if not more than 30 an hour........Also I am in LOVE with the Monday through Thursday schedule....doesnt get much better than that! GOOD LUCK

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stephanie in Shepherdsville, Kentucky

25 months ago

Chandy in Jeffersonville, Indiana said: You have just been fantastic Teresa, I feel I've gotten more information out of you tonight then I did in 20 minutes on the phone with the guy from the program. See it just seems odd to me, most people say that they've had a year of training, but this class is only 8 weeks, 2 nights a week from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. They boast job placement assistant with 95% job placement rate. My granny always told me if it seemed too good to be true, then it probably is.

Did you attend the program and have you found a job? I'm trying to find out a little insider informatin before I go tour the school but can't find any reviews.

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Dental Assistants ROCK in San Jose, California

24 months ago

lizzle in Sacramento, California said: Hi there!
I'm just curious to see what you all get paid as DA's and RDA's? I am just about to graduate my DA program and am a little unsure about what to ask for. Our teacher told us to do research for our area and field and not to under sell ourselves. Im trying to see what would be a reasonable wage to ask for.

Hi there....You should check out Dental Assistants ROCK on facebook....and Join www.daimpressions.com A Social Network for Dental Assistants.
its a great way to connect with other Assistants all over the USA, UK, and Australia

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Dental Assistants ROCK in San Jose, California

24 months ago

Cara in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania said: Is it true that RDA's make more than dental assistants?

Yes.

www.daimpressions.com

And Dental Assistants ROCK our fan page on Facebook.

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Sammy in Phoenix, Arizona

23 months ago

Terrible, terrible experience on my first job...was there for a few days. Treated like a retard, belittled in front of patients. Ready to go back to my corporate job and give up on dentistry...I deserve better.

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RDA funny business in San Diego, California

21 months ago

As I search for job openings I realize this particular field is completely bogus! I've acquired my RDA, though because of my terrible experiences at my extern sites and refusing to use them as references, has basically left me basically with 0 years of experience. Then I see how these training school basically set us up for failure. As the career advisor sends my (then recently graduated) resume to an office for (a paid) employment consideration, he send five other student seeking a (free of charge) externship! What does this mean? Much, much lower wages and a slim to none chance of getting hired. I think what this career advisor/corporation should actually do is either contract out help at a lower rate rather than free-of charge services or have their own establishment/practices to provide the job after completion. Technically, because you are still a student you can practice your coronal polishing etc. skills, no RDA required or a completion diploma to say the least. Waste of my money taking an exam that is belittled by student help. So it may demolishes the higher standard (fancy office) and "higher" pay private practices can offer,but look at it this way now like every other industry out on the market, private businesses are competing with "cheap, less expensive, and pocket friendly" corporations. This will show office what DA/RDA/CDA are worth if we put ourselves in a different pay bracket. Just like corporation have moved finances around to accommodated and create more positions and still prove to be successful, private doctor can as well. Plus they have more control over the "poor economy" than you think. This will send a clear message to private practices about lousy pays then they would in turn have to compete with corporation to get employees, which will actually raise standards with corporations and force them into competition for our expertise. So the have R/DA whose been working there for decades, rest assure,they will soon to phase out.Create a union!

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Dilya1993 in Mooresville, North Carolina

17 months ago

Hello everyone, how can I become certified in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, right now I have 5 years of full time experience working with and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.Thank you

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