October 2021

Top 10 Reasons to Join a Dental Service Organization (DSO)

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If you want a career that helps people smile, being a dental assistant may be a great choice for you.

Dental assistants are in extremely high demand, with many dentists employing multiple dental assistants for their practices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that dental assistant careers are likely to continue their rapid growth. The employment of dental assistants is projected to increase much faster than average, with approximately 38,700 dental assistant jobs added from 2018 to 2028 – an increase of 11%. Dental assistant salaries will likely grow as well to keep up with this increase in demand.

Keep reading to learn more about dental assistant pay, including the average dental assistant salary by state, and how you can find your own success as a dental assistant with Dental Care Alliance (DCA), one of the nation’s leading dental practice management companies.

What Dental Assistants Do

Dental assistants are valuable members of a dental care team, greatly increasing the efficiency of the dentist and helping patients feel more comfortable before, during, and after dental treatment. Dental assistants deliver both quality oral health care and personal care, one smile at a time.

The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office, requiring both technical and interpersonal skills. A dental assistant works with their hands as well as their mind.

While state regulations vary, the responsibilities of a dental assistant may include:

  • Assisting the dentist with a variety of treatment procedures
  • Taking dental x-rays or making impressions of a patient’s teeth
  • Developing infection control protocol and sterilizing instruments and equipment
  • Teaching patients how to properly clean and floss their teeth
  • Keeping patients comfortable throughout their dental treatment
  • Providing care instructions after treatment procedures are completed

Dental assistant pay depends primarily upon the responsibilities associated with the position and the geographic location of your employment. Let’s take a closer look at dental assistant salaries today, including the average dental assistant salary per hour where you live.

Average Dental Assistant Salary by State

According to the employment website Indeed.com, the average dental assistant hourly pay in the United States is $18.72 per hour. However, there are many states where dental assistant hourly pay is consistently above the national average, including Minnesota, New Hampshire, Alaska, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, and Oregon.

Dental assistant salaries in some of these top-paying states have jumped substantially in recent years. For example, the average dental assistant salary increased by 23.5% in Virginia and 22.9% in Rhode Island in 2018 alone – and these numbers are likely to continue to climb.

Here’s a breakdown of the average dental assistant salary per hour for each state in May 2018, which is the most recent wage data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Alabama – $16.18

Alaska – $22.75

Arizona – $19.56

Arkansas – $16.38

California – $19.72

Colorado – $19.42

Connecticut – $21.40

Delaware – $19.74

District of Columbia – $23.66

Florida – $19.03

Georgia – $17.65

Hawaii – $18.68

Idaho – $16.73

Illinois – $18.93

Indiana – $19.61

Iowa – $19.76

Kansas – $17.81

Kentucky – $17.34

Louisiana – $15.55

Maine – $20.31

Maryland – $20.23

Massachusetts – $22.15

Michigan – $17.85

Minnesota – $23.98

Mississippi – $15.82

Missouri – $18.44

Montana – $17.94

Nebraska – $17.72

Nevada – $18.39

New Hampshire – $23.44

New Jersey – $20.73

New Mexico – $16.76

New York – $18.81

North Carolina – $20.09

North Dakota – $22.43

Ohio – $18.73

Oklahoma – $17.57

Oregon – $20.89

Pennsylvania – $18.85

Rhode Island – $21.02

South Carolina – $19.11

South Dakota – $18.19

Tennessee – $18.08

Texas – $17.70

Utah – $15.04

Vermont – $20.50

Virginia – $21.46

Washington – $21.00

West Virginia – $15.10

Wisconsin – $18.57

Wyoming – $16.93

More Experience, More Pay

Like many other careers, experience matters when it comes to dental assistant pay. According to Indeed.com, the national average jumps from $18.72 to $20.58 per hour for dental assistants with 3-5 years of experience, $21.51 per hour for 6-9 years of experience, and $23.35 for 10 years of experience or more.

Work at DCA as a Dental Assistant

DCA is always looking for bright, caring, and capable dental assistants who want to expand their knowledge, hone their skills, and advance their careers. We currently employ well-qualified dental assistants in more than 330 DCA-supported practices, covering 20+ states.

Career Advancement

If you’re ready to work with the latest tools and technology and would like to learn from some of the best and brightest in the industry, then consider DCA as your ally. We offer exceptional opportunities, along with a wide range of benefits that include medical, vision, dental, life insurance, 401K, and paid time off for full-time employees.

DCA Culture

For us, it’s all about helping our allies succeed – whether this means supporting our more than 750 dentists or providing exciting opportunities to work with them or directly with DCA. Discover how much further you can go with a strong ally by your side that shares a vision to advance dental care.

Additional Benefits

Other benefits of working at DCA include:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental services
  • Life insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Long-term disability
  • Section 125 – Flexible Spending Account
  • 401K
  • EAP program
  • DCA voluntary supplemental insurance products
  • Loan consolidation
  • Paid time off

Find a Dental Assistant Job Today

There’s a reason why the employment of dental assistants is projected to grow faster than many other occupations. Dental assistants not only perform highly technical and skilled work under the supervision of a dentist, but they also play an integral part in providing patient care. From preparing for procedures to following up with patients after treatment, dental assistants have a vital role in delivering an exceptional experience.

If you’re ready to help other people smile, we’re ready to help you find a great dental assistant opportunity with DCA. View our current job openings or submit your resume so you’ll be the first to know when the perfect position comes along.