Are You Paying Your Dental Assistants Enough?

Are You Paying Your Dental Assistants Enough? | The AGA Group

Have you been hiring new dental assistants frequently throughout the year? If you’re continually losing members of your team, it may be because you’re paying less-than-average salaries. Furthermore, what you pay your dental assistants will often dictate their loyalty as employees and how motivated they are as members of your team. When making pay decisions for new and existing dental assistants, here are some key factors to keep in mind.

How Much Are You Paying Your Dental Assistants?

Experience level

The most skilled dental assistants are those who have acquired significant exposure and practice working under seasoned dental professionals. When hiring a new dental assistant, it’s important to consider their depth of experience in the dental field, as this should influence their salary. If an assistant is new to the field and has a more limited knowledge base, it makes sense to put them on a lower-than-average pay scale. However, a dental assistant with at least five years of previous employment will likely demand that pay be commensurate with their experience.  


Salaries are often based on location, as dental assistant positions in different cities have varying salary averages. For example, a recent survey by ZipRecruiter indicated the average annual salary for dental assistants in Washington is $43,033 while the average salary in Missouri is $37,440. If you’re paying your dental assistants substantially lower salaries than other similar practices in your region, you’ll likely lose staff for higher-paying jobs. Offering competitive salaries that are consistent with the average pay in your state or city will retain and attract the best talent in your region. 

Staff retention

If your dental practice is a revolving door of new assistants every few months, it’s time to look closely at what you’re paying staff. Underpaying dental assistants – and not giving pay raises over time – will result in them quickly seeking work elsewhere. While there are many factors with retention (such as workplace culture and onsite training offerings), pay is typically the most common driver of employees quitting for other employment opportunities.   

Paying fair salaries will not only retain your best dental assistants for the long-term but contribute to more growth and success with your practice at large.  

Are Your Paying Your Dental Assistants Enough?

Are you seeking qualified dental assistants for your growing team? Get in touch and learn how a staffing partnership with AGA Group can assist with your hiring.



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