Dental Assisting 101

December 2, 2010

Every dentist has his pet peeves.  Here are a few of mine:

1. Facebook: Yes, I have a facebook account, but you do not need to check your status every hour. How much time is wasted on facebook each day? Also, don’t post things about your practice online…you never know who your friends are connected to, and it does not look good if you complain about your hard day.

2. Dirt:I know it is my office, not yours, but I see the dirt just as much as you do, and if I need to pick up that hair on the floor or clean the dirty mirror then it makes you, the assistant look bad. Too many of these incidents and asta la vista assistant.

3. Priorities:Life is full of decisions. You need to now what is important and what is urgent. Don’t have the new patient wait in the reception room while you load all the old instruments into the sterilizer. That can wait. We have plenty of instruments and a statim. The new patient experience is critical!  Get your priorities straight.

Happy assisting!

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Dental Assisting Forum Now Open

October 11, 2010

We are heading for a new horizon…

The dental assisting forum is now open! Just click the “forum” link in the top navigation menu to find it.

Don’t be shy, express your opinion freely. This is your forum to ask questions, post comments and find other dental assistants like yourself!

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Dental Assisting Tips – The Little Things Matter Most

October 6, 2010

A good dental assistant follows all the rules and lives up to the dentists expectations. A great dental assistant exceeds them!
Today I want to mention a few essentials that dental assistants must do consistently to catch the attention of the dentists, and the patients:

  • Keep a Sterile Field: This is critical. If you need to open a drawer, move the mouse on the computer, or pick something up, then take off your gloves! There is nothing worse than watching your patient watch the assistant open a drawer to get something out with her dirty gloves. This is not the way towards getting a raise!
  • Keep Learning: You need to continue to improve while assisting. Don’t just sit there and dream. Move! Clean the area, whip the patients face, hand instruments even if they are wrong, clean the instruments before handing them, communicate with the patient. Energy! You need to radiate positive energy. You are an “assistant” not a suction machine.

Click to continue reading “Dental Assisting Tips – The Little Things Matter Most”

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Dental Assistant Salary – Go The Extra Mile

September 20, 2010

So you are an exceptional dental assistant with lots of experience. You like your job, you like your office, but you feel you have reached a plateau – a salary plateau.

How much more can a dental assistant make?

Well, a dental assistant that is good at assisting is very important, but I have always paid more for dental assistants that were cross trained at the front office and most importantly, for good “closers”.

What is a  good closer? Simple, a person that is able to get the patient to accept treatment without being pushy. This skill is essential in any successful dental office, and I have a dental assistant that can close any case. She began as a regular dental assistant over 5 years ago and now closes just about any case she touches, helps with the office marketing, and assists. And yes, she has a very good salary.

To become a good closer you need to be comfortable with money. You need to be able to look a person in the eye and tell them the treatment will cost 35 thousand dollars without looking uncomfortable….that is not very easy. Not everyone can talk money, and very few people like it. A dental office will bend over backwards for a good closer, so if you think you have this skill, practice it!


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Dental Assistant Jobs

September 10, 2010

Jobs for Dental Assistants are hard to find right now, just like in all other professions. You can’t just send in your resume and hope for a call-back, or show up unprepared for an interview. If you find a job opening then you must know what it takes to snag that job!

I was offering a dental assistant job myself last year and was surprised at how many resumes I received. A simple Craigs List advertisement resulted in dozens of dental assistants calling me, emailing me and sending me resumes. How did I decide which dental assistant to hire?

The vast majority of dental assistants that contacted my office obviously did not read the “highest paid dental assistant manual”. It was apparent within the first 20 seconds that these assistants would not fit into my practice. Here are just a few mistakes these assistants made with my dental office:

1. Resumes were photocopies without any personal touch

2. Some dental assistants showed up to interview for my cosmetic dental practice wearing animal print scrubs

3. Some dental assistants never stopped telling me during the interview “all about themselves”

4. Some dental assistants immediately talked about salary

5. Some dental assistants questioned their own experience in front of me

6. Some dental assistants did not smile or had horrible teeth! This is a “smile” profession, you must smile!

There are many more ways to blow a resume delivery or interview, and I saw them all! So many dental assistants looking for a job yet so few know how to actually get a job!

In this tough environment you can not risk mediocrity. You must stand out! That is why I started this blog in the first place. I hope this helps in your job or salary hunt!

Keep smiling,

Christian Hahn


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Where Do Dental Assistants Get Paid The Most?

August 22, 2010

I have had so many people ask me where dental assistants get paid the most that I decided to begin a comment thread. If you are thinking of becoming a dental assistant then this will soon become a great resource!

Please comment with where you live and how much you make. You can add more information such as how long you have been working etc. if you like.


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Dental Assistant Salary FAQ

August 21, 2010

This is one of my dental assistants – her name is Dawn.

Dawn has been a dental assistant for many years, and she has worked with me for about 5 so far. Dawn is a EDDA and pretty much can do everything I need her to do at a premium level. She is essentially what every dentist needs, and my other right hand.

This type of experience comes for a price, of course. Dawn is a highly paid dental assistant, and she is worth every penny.

I invested in Dawn because the office needs her. She has beautiful veneers that I gave to her. This allows her to discuss treatment with patients much better.

I recently (1 year ago) hired another assistant, Carissa, who is showing great promise. I hired Carissa not because she has a lot of experience, but because she impressed me in the first few seconds of her interview.

Daily I get questions about “salary” and “how to get a raise”, which are valid questions, but more importantly, dental assistants need to understand that there is a method to getting a raise. It is not a quick solution but rather an approach. You need to understand what dentists are looking for, and you need to “deserve” a raise. Nobody should ever expect to get a raise because they have been around for a while.

I suggest you sign-up for our newsletter to get the 15 NO-BRAINER STEPS TO GETTING A RAISE AS A DENTAL ASSISTANT! as a start.

The Highest Paid Dental Assistant Manual is designed to give you a solid background which is essential to succeed at dental assisting. Once you have read and implemented the steps in the manual you are ready to begin your journey towards a career in dental assisting rather than just a job!


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Dental Assistant Salary

August 17, 2010

Dental Assistant SalaryHow much does a dental assistant make? That seems to be the most frequent question I get. Well, your salary as a new dental assistant will vary widely where you work, but if you have been a dental assistant for a while and you are asking this question then I know you are not making as much as you would like!

Your salary is only one part of how much you make. In a good office there will be a team bonus system that rewards teamwork. A win-win system.  If the office is doing well then everyone will benefit.

Teammates start asking about salary when the work environment becomes tough, mundane or just plain hostile. “I don’t get paid enough to put up with this!” kinda attitude.

The SUCCESSFUL DENTAL ASSISTING manual I wrote focuses not only on how you can make more money, but how you can find an office to work with that appreciates you and rewards the entire team. Life is too short to “put up” with anything, that is at least how I feel about it.


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Dental Assistant Manual

May 15, 2010
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Many dental assistants have asked my about the “Secret Dental Assistant Manual” and how to get it.  Well, click the link in the title bar above and follow the instructions!  All the info in this blog and much more is condensed into a simple yet powerful how-to format.  No “information overload”, just the facts!

If you want to know how to get your resume on top of the pile or how to ace your interview, then this manual is a must.

If you have questions, especially after you are a member of the club, feel free to write me anytime.




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Dental Assisting Tip #3 – Love What You Do!

May 12, 2010

A job is a job, not a charity.  If you are like me you work to live, not live to work!

Sometimes after being part of the same office for a long time the dentist just sees you as a part of the office, not an employee.  Meaning, you are so essential yet so easy to have around that they forget about you.  Well, not really you, but your needs, such as reviews and salary increases.  So, tip #3 goes like this:

Don’t loose sight of your personal needs!

Yes, you come first.  Actually, everybody should come first to themselves…it is nature.  So, don’t forget about yourself.  Talk to the dentist.  When is your next review?  What can you do to enjoy your job more?  What will it take for a salary increase?  ASK and you shall receive!

Try it and let me know what happens…I am curious!


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