Salaries reported for hygienists, assistants, receptionists

The average full-time dental hygienist in the U.S. made $34.40 an hour in 2006, according to a new report by the ADA.

The data was released this year, but based on a survey completed by 1,968 dentists in 2007 about salaries they paid employees the year before. The hourly wages varied greatly, with a standard deviation of ± $10.80 for hygienists.

On a weekly basis, hygienists working for generalists made $1,117, while those employed by specialists earned $1,030. Both groups saw increases since 2002 -- a 16.5% increase for hygienists in general practices versus a 7.9% boost for those in specialist offices.

Full-time chairside assistants got raises of 10.9% from $15.40 in 2002 to $16.80 per hour in the primary private practices of independent dentists, according to ADA figures. Part-time chairside assistants made $18.10 in 2006, and the average of all chairside assistants was $17.20 (± $6.10).

Secretaries and receptionists earned similar wages in 2006, an average of $17.80 (± $6.40) per hour.

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