Pack more pay into your dental assistant paycheck

There are many things dental assistants can do to gain rewards from their career

Dental Assistant Positive Attitude

Do you ever wish for more rewards from your career in dentistry? The good news is that there is huge potential in expanding your career and adding value to your patients and practice. You may have come across conversations that discuss compensation on many dental assisting forums and Facebook page. However, one surprising fact is that many team members rate appreciation from their boss as the No. 1 criteria in job satisfaction. Also in the top three are variation in work, and job security, and actual wages ranks fourth!

Dental Assistant Positive AttitudeAll team members are vital to taking care of patients, and dental assistants are especially critical in direct patient care with the dentist. Think of how disorganized a typical day would be without dental assistants. Dental assistants allow the dentist to work with “four hands” instead of two, ensure that the patient flow is smooth, patients are safe, and instruments are sterilized.

So how can you “pack more pay into your paycheck?” First and foremost, have a fantastic attitude, even if you’re not having the best day. If you start the day on a positive note, even the worst day will turn around. A good attitude and smile are contagious, both with other team members as well as patients. Motivated and happy team members are a delight to a busy doctor and practice. The number of pessimists, or “realists,” sometimes seems to outweigh the optimists, which sets a true optimist apart from the crowd. Earning a high salary goes hand in hand with setting yourself apart from the typical person. If you want to earn more, then you have to show your employer why you are worth more.

Secondly, become an expert in your field. Start by being a continual student and earn as many certifications as possible. There are national dental assisting certifications, learning in the areas of orthodontics and nitrous oxide, or pursuing studies in CPR or MSDS. The list is endless! Get certified in as many areas as your state allows. By expanding your knowledge and skills, you add tremendous value to your patients and practice. Patients will look to you for information and guidance.

For a third and especially impressive tip, read articles for online dental publications like Dental Assisting Digest! Publishers for these newsletters and magazines work hard to provide high quality content and value to their readers. Sharing the information that you glean will help other team members expand their knowledge, and will impress your doctor for sure! Taking initiative to learn and grow is a big signal to the doctor that you’re self-motivated and confident in your skills. These are key factors when discussing a salary arrangement.

Finally, go the extra mile, every time. Work the weekend events, stay late, sign up for projects, and refer your family and friends to the practice. Show your practice administrator and dentist that the practice is just as important to you as it is to them. They want to see that you are on board with marketing and patient care. Going above and beyond their expectations will clearly communicate that you have the best interests of the patients at heart. After all, that is why we all have a JOB!

Without a doubt, when a dental assistant has multiple certifications, a positive attitude, expert knowledge and skills, and noticeable ambition, it will attract the attention of their practice administrators and doctors. Remember, salary increases are earned, and when the time comes for a merit increase, you will be the first eligible person who comes to mind!

So, “packing more pay into your paycheck” means being well rounded and expanding your skills for a long, happy, satisfying career in dentistry.

Brianna Richardson
Brianna Richardson is a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA). She is the Executive Assistant for Dr. Tanya Brown. Brianna founded DentalAssistantSTUDY.com for dental assistants and aspiring dental assistants who are preparing for dental assisting exams, as well as MyDentalTRADE.com, where you can buy and sell dental products. She can be reached at Bri@TanyaBrownDMD.com.

Tanya Brown

Dr. Tanya Brown founded and actively practices at The Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry in Chesapeake, VA. She works with dentists and dental teams who “Connect the Dots” to be more productive and have more fun. Contact Dr. Brown for a complimentary copy of the New Patient Call Form at Tanya@TanyaBrownDMD.com, 757-819-7000, or 855-700-TEAM (8326).

More in Patient Records