FAQ’S/ASK AN EXPERT
The most frequently asked questions from dental students are:
What kind of salary can I expect to make?
Most entry level positions in and around Austin, TX., start anywhere from $12-14 dollars an hour, depending on the dental office. There are quarterly evaluations that can come with wage increases per your performance.
What hours will I be required to work?
Typically, dental offices are open weekdays, early morning to early evening. A 38-40 hour week is the norm. However, some offices choose to provide services for their patients on Saturdays. Some practices are closed on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Ask what the working days/hours are for each specific dental office when interviewing.
Do I need a dental radiology license to be employed as a dental assistant?
Your radiology license comes with your RDA license in the state of Texas.
What is required to get my Registered Dental Assistant license (RDA) in Texas?
A dental assisting program is not “required” to start a career as a dental assistant in Texas, but most dentists prefer you have some form of training in a dental office before they’ll hire you. This 12 week class will give you the hands on training needed to get the job. However, the Texas Dental Board requires you pass an online exam in Dental Radiology, Jurisprudence, Infection Control. When you pass the exam, and pay the fees required, you will then be mailed your Texas RDA license, which enables you to legally take x-rays in the state of Texas, and therefore “work” as a dental assistant. The Dental Assistant National Board governs and regulates that licensure. It does change periodically. Check out the link I have posted on my links page for the DANB.(Dental Assisting National Board)
Are benefits provided?
It depends on your employer. Since most dental practices are sole owner/private practices, they tend to be conservative with their benefits package. Some provide dental and medical coverage, 401K plans, profit sharing and/or bonuses per monthly production. It just depends on the practitioner. If you are employed by a Managed Care office (HMO) and it employs many people, chances are better that you’ll receive a benefits package. Again, ask these questions when interviewing. Suggestion: Have these questions written down and bring them with you to the interview so you’ll remember what each office offers. And if you do accept an offer, get it all in writing!