Dental Assistants Recognition Week is a time to celebrate dental assistants. But as the year continues, it’s important to keep acknowledging this key fact: Dental assistants are essential members of the dental team.
DARW is a chance to acknowledge that dental assistants play a critical role in the delivery of oral healthcare. And at DANB and the DALE Foundation, we encourage everyone — dental team members, dental patients and the entire public — to continue supporting and recognizing dental assistants for the important work they do. It’s also important for dental assistants to continue uplifting and acknowledging one another.
“We must never forget that we are a valuable employee in the office,” agrees Hillary, CDA, COA, CPFDA, CDPMA.
Below are top reasons why dental assistants deserve appreciation all year long.
1. Dental assistants support patients.
Dental assistants strive to provide the utmost care to dental patients, many of whom may be anxious or in pain. Dental assistants remain with patients before, during and after their appointment, with many patients thanking them for their kind words and comforting presence after a successful visit. In fact, many patients who come back to the dental office say they do so in part because their dental assistant is so helpful.
“The best thing about being a dental assistant is creating a trusting relationship with a patient,” shares Janaya, CDA. “Dental assistants help ensure patients have a better experience at the dentist’s office.”
2. Dental assistants are valuable teammates.
Dental assistants’ colleagues, including the dentist, also say they are grateful for assistants, who perform critical duties in the dental office while keeping a positive attitude. Dental assistants can be counted on to smile or share a comforting word when the workday becomes stressful. Additionally, dental assistants are intuitive, anticipating the needs of the dentist, the patient and their colleagues during an appointment. Plus, assistants’ attention to detail and organizational skills help keep the entire schedule on track, so that everything runs smoothly throughout the workday.
Connie knows firsthand just how essential dental assistants are in dentistry: “I agree — we are the backbone of the dental office. What would the dentist and the team do without us?”
3. Dental assistants are passionate about the profession.
Successful dental assistants are passionate about their careers. Most are motivated to succeed not only for their own careers, but also for the benefit of the entire dental office and every patient. To be able to provide the best patient care, many dental assistants seek out continuing education opportunities, such as those available online through the DALE Foundation, DANB’s official affiliate.
Additionally, many dental assistants — over 37,000 and counting — have taken the step to demonstrate dental assisting excellence by way of earning and maintaining DANB certification. Dental assistants’ dedication to the profession is contagious, often elevating everyone around them.
Perhaps Gladys says it best: “Dental assistants are the heartbeat of any dental practice.”