There are thousands of temp dental assistant jobs available, which is not the least surprising given the shortage of experienced dentists. Thus, temp dental assistants are emerging to assist in overcoming workforce shortages.
More offices, for example, are resorting to temp dental assistants. Only 1% of respondents in the 2020 Dental Assistants Salary and Satisfaction Survey reported working as a temp dental assistant. According to the most recent poll from 2022, the figure has risen to 2%. While this is still a tiny number, temp dental assisting positions appear to be expanding.
What Is A Temp Dental Assistant?
When a practice has a personnel shortage, a temporary or fill-in dental assistant is employed. Dental clinics may engage temporary personnel to aid during busy seasons, substitute for a staff member on leave, or solve a shortfall of dental assistants on staff.
Job assignments might range from a single day to several months. Temp dental assistants are normally expected to have prior experience, abilities, and understanding of the position; thus, no extra training is required.
Although offices’ rules, day-to-day operations, and what they expect of a temp dental assistant may change slightly, the core duty of a temporary dental assistant is the same as that of a full-time one. Helping the dentist or hygienist during visits, preparing and sterilizing exam rooms, answering patient inquiries, taking x-rays, stocking supply rooms, monitoring patient records, or booking and confirming appointments are all possible responsibilities.
Is Working as A Temp Dental Assistant The Right Job For You?
Here are a few methods to determine whether temporary dental help is right for you:
1. You want flexibility
You may choose your own schedule as a temp dental assistant and achieve your perfect work-life balance. You may work when and where you choose, giving you greater flexibility to take holidays and handle commitments like school or daycare.
2. You like making new friends
As a temp dental assistant, you have the opportunity to visit other communities and offices, allowing you to meet new people, grow your professional network, and learn from others.
3. You are versatile
Being a temporary employee, regardless of sector, necessitates adaptation. If you’re good with people and can rapidly learn new regulations, software, and technology, you might do well as a temp dental assistant.
4. You want to set your own pay rate
This is frequently the most appealing aspect of working as a temp dental assistant. As a temporary worker, you can determine your own hourly wage. Furthermore, due to the current dental assistant scarcity, offices may be ready to pay extra to fill unfilled positions.
Where to Find Temp Dental Assistant Jobs
There are various options for finding temporary dental assisting jobs.
Below are some sites specifically catered for temp dental assistant jobs:
Indeed is a popular job search tool. It has a large number of temporary dental assistant job postings from various businesses. Job searchers may quickly and simply filter and search for temporary employment based on their location and other choices.
The DANB job board is a niche marketplace for dental assistants. It frequently posts employment openings, including temporary ones that may require DANB certification.
iHireDental is a specialty job board for dental professionals. It offers a variety of dental assistant work opportunities, including temporary and contract positions. Job searchers may establish profiles and receive personalized job notifications based on their choices.
TempMee is a network that links dental professionals, including assistants, with temporary job opportunities. Job searchers may search for and apply for temporary positions, while dental clinics can publish their staffing requirements.
Cloud Dentistry is a one-of-a-kind internet marketplace for dentists. It enables dental practices to publish temporary and on-demand workforce requirements. Dental assistants can browse for temporary jobs and connect with dental practices that need to fill temporary positions.
OnDiem is a platform for healthcare staffing that includes dental assistants. It links competent temporary personnel with healthcare institutions, including dentistry clinics. Through onDiem, dental assistants may obtain temporary work in a variety of healthcare settings.
Advantages Of Working As A Temp Dental Assistant
Below are 3 benefits of working as a temp dental assistant:
One of the major benefits of temp dental assistant jobs is the flexibility they provide. You may pick when and where you work, making it a fantastic alternative for people with erratic schedules or those looking for work-life balance.
2. Diverse experience
Working as a temp dental assistant allows you to obtain experience in a variety of dental settings, ranging from general dentistry clinics to specialist practices such as orthodontics or oral surgery. This experience can be extremely beneficial to your career progress.
3. Opportunities for networking
Temporary jobs provide several opportunities to enhance your professional network. You’ll meet a wide range of dental professionals and develop contacts that might lead to future career possibilities or recommendations.
4. Opportunities for learning
Each dental clinic is slightly different, and temp positions expose you to a variety of techniques, equipment, and software. This breadth of expertise will enable you to become a more flexible and adaptive dental assistant.
Disadvantages Of Working As A Temp Dental Assistant
It is also necessary to understand the disadvantages of temporary dental assistance. While you can work as a full-time temp dental assistant, the job may be inconsistent because offices in your region may not always have staffing needs. Temporary work can be perfect for someone looking for extra money, but it may not always be the best option if you rely on it as your major source of income.
Temporary dental assistants are also not eligible for job benefits that are generally associated with full-time positions, such as health insurance and retirement plans. This may not be an issue if you are covered by your spouse’s benefits plan, but if you are not, you will most likely have to pay for these benefits on your own.
Tips for Excelling in Temp Dental Assistant Jobs
1. Be professional
Maintain a high degree of professionalism in all of your dealings. Building a good reputation requires punctuality, a cheerful attitude, and effective communication skills.
2. Be organized
Temp dental assistants sometimes have to juggle many jobs. Maintain a clear timetable to ensure you don’t overcommit and can properly meet your duties.
3. Create a good reputation
In the world of temp work, word-of-mouth referrals are priceless. You’re more likely to get more and better employment prospects if you continuously produce exceptional work and create a strong professional network.
How to Get a Job as a Temp Dental Assistant
1. Training and education:
Get a high school diploma or the equivalent. This is the fundamental educational need. You can start by signing up for dental assisting courses. These courses are available at community colleges, vocational schools, and universities. They usually end with a diploma or certificate.
2. Gain practical experience
You will most likely receive clinical training as part of your dental assisting degree to obtain hands-on experience. This is critical for learning the practical skills required for the profession.
3. Obtain all necessary certifications:
Specific certificates or licenses are required in several states for dental assistants. Check to see if there are any state-specific regulations. Certification, such as the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificate given by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), might increase your work chances even if it is not necessary.
4. Revise your resume
Make a well-organized CV that emphasizes your education, training, certifications, and any relevant experience. Make a point of mentioning your ability to work on a temporary or locum tenens basis.
5. Find dental staffing agencies
Temporary dental assistants are matched with dental practices in need of temporary assistance by dental staffing organizations. Look into these agencies and contact them to convey your interest in temporary work.
6. Interview preparation:
Be prepared for interviews if dental staffing agencies or dental practices approach you about prospective assignments. Emphasize your versatility, flexibility, and readiness to take on short-term responsibilities. Highlight your dependability and professionalism.
Temporary dental assistant positions provide a unique opportunity to gain experience in the dentistry sector while being flexible to match your lifestyle. They are more than simply a stepping stone for newcomers; they may also be a long-term career option for people who desire variety in their job experience.
Whether you’re an experienced dental assistant or just starting out, temporary dental assistant positions provide possibilities for growth, networking, and professional development that are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the field. So, if you’re seeking a dynamic and exciting profession, look into temp dental assistant positions.