'It's been really tough': Many Oregon dentists affected by dental assistant shortage

Many dental practices in central Oregon appear to be affected by a shortage of dental assistants, KTVZ reports.

"We have had this shortage for probably the last five years," Stacy Sabin, clinic administrator at Bend (Ore.) Family Dentistry, told KTVZ. "It's been really tough getting dental assistants."

Nationwide, there are about 350,000 dental assistants, accounting for nearly 50 percent of dental professionals, according to KTVZ.

There are currently 15 dental assistant listings in Bend, two of which are by Bend Family Dentistry.

"We prefer they have expanded functions and also at least one year under their belt," Ms. Sabin said. "The pay is good, the hours are good, and I'm not really sure why there is this shortage."

Ms. Sabin said it can take nearly a month and a half to fill a dental assistant position.

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