Dental technicians are a vital part of a dentist office and orthopedic surgeon office. Dental technicians often work in a dental office in a very similar manner to the way a nurse works in a doctor office. Dental technicians are generally responsible for cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, educating patients about dental care, making sure patients are comfortable, and assisting the dentist with procedures.
Becoming a dental technician will open up the doors of employment opportunity for many people and will allow them to work in large or small dental offices throughout the country. Many dental technicians will go on to continue their education and to become a dentist, which provides for a very desirable dental technician salary and premium working conditions.
Dental technicians can enjoy working in an occupational field that will always be in demand. Dentists will always have a need for dental technicians. Many technicians will also assist with office and secretarial duties as needed and are responsible for ensuring that the needs of the clients are met throughout each client visit.
Dental Technician Salary Information:
The dental technician salary in the United States ranges from $30,000 - $36,000 annually. This is the average beginning dental technician salary for a laboratory dental technician. Dental techs who earn this salary range can work their way up to a higher salary once they have gained experience. Many dental offices require at least one year of experience within the office before raising the pay of a dental technician. If the technician shows promise and is exceptional at his or her duties and in making the clients feel comfortable, he or she may earn raises at a more rapid rate.
A dental technician with a few years’ experience and office management skills can expect to have the opportunity to earn the average dental technician salary of $55,000 to $62,000 for a national average. Certified dental technicians will have a higher average salary than technicians who are not certified. Depending upon the location and the type of office the person is employed in, a certified dental tech can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $75,000. This pay range will also be dependent upon how many years work experience the person has under his or her belt.
Dental Technician Education Requirements:
Some dental technicians can start out at an entry level position within a dentist office with just a high school diploma. This will be a supervised position and the person will not be certified. A person who finds employment as a dental technician right out of high school will be an assistant in the dentist office and will have a limit on the duties he or she can perform. Certified dental technicians will have options available to them for their educational paths.
To become a certified dental tech, depending upon which state or region you live in, you will typically be required to complete two years of training which will cover in-class learning as well as hands-on experience. The hands-on experience will consist of performing supervised routine dental procedures such as taking X-rays, cleaning teeth, checking for gum disease, and other similar procedures.
Many states require dental techs to pass a state dental test before allowing them to become certified. If this is completed, the person will have a better chance at earning a higher salary and finding desirable employment with exceptional benefits and opportunities for advancement.
Dental education can be gained through a community college or university through a dental program. Dental courses can also be taken online, but the student will need to show up from time to time for the internship and hands-on work experience. Many vocational technical schools also offer a two year program for dental technician students.
Dental Technician Work Environment:
Dental technician work environments are extremely professional and clean. Sanitary offices and rooms are important and are required within dental offices. Dental technicians can typically expect to wear medical scrubs or business casual clothing combined with white lab coats. A dental work environment will consist of working with a leading dentist or oral surgeon, as well as other dental technicians.
Dental offices are well organized and ran efficiently if successful offices. The conduct of a dental technician needs to be a professional and courteous one and it is also important to have a positive and caring demeanor towards patients. Dental patients can range from toddlers to senior citizens and many patients are nervous at the procedure they have arrived to have performed. This will require the dental technician to be friendly, compassionate, and caring towards the patient and to have a soothing and understanding attitude with the patient.
Dental technicians typically work Monday through Friday at standard office hours from 8AM until 5PM. Some clinics will have longer hours and will offer weekend service as well, though this is not the norm.