The best holiday gifts for dental assistants

outstretched hands holding a gift box

Many people remember receiving a “this is just what I wanted” holiday present as a child. But who says you can’t get excited about gifts as an adult?

Dental assistants work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure their practices function as seamlessly as possible and patients get the utmost care. Around the holidays, they want to feel appreciated for all they’ve done as they gear up for the new year. A thoughtful gift can be the perfect way to show gratitude and make dental assistants feel valued.

What are some of the best gifts dental assistants can receive?


Everyone appreciates a gift that they get to unwrap. But some of the most memorable gifts aren’t physical items. Experiences can be unique and create lasting memories. Dental assistants particularly enjoy time to bond with co-workers, unwind, or give back to the local community.

“The most memorable gifts have been experiences,” shares Ellen. “One year, we adopted a family and we were given cash from the doctors to buy presents from the family’s wish list. Another year, we received cash and a mini shopping spree. Last year, my co-leader and I made breakfast at the office with mimosas, played music, and then sent the team out on a holiday scavenger hunt that we created.”

“Last year, my boss treated us to an art class where we all made some fused glass ornaments. It was a lot of fun!” says Guinevere.

Dental assistants are extra grateful when they get to enjoy their gift during a workday!

Guinevere adds: “This year, [my boss] has a pottery class booked for us on a regularly scheduled working day so we do not miss time with our families.”


Nothing says thanks and builds camaraderie quite like a meal shared together. It’s a tangible gift and an experience all in one! Many dentists like to treat their staff members to lunch or dinner to celebrate the holidays and say thank you for all their hard work throughout the year.

“I think our favorite was every year, our boss’s wife made a wonderful Christmas luncheon and always an amazing dessert,” shares Debbie.

One year, Debbie’s boss even added some extra luxury for her office’s holiday meal: “Another wonderful memory is when our boss had a limo waiting outside and took us out for a celebration lunch!”

Continuing education

Dental assistants work hard to build their skills and keep up with the latest developments in dentistry, infection control, technology, patient care, and many other areas. To do so, many dental assistants take continuing education courses. These courses help dental assistants earn or maintain certification, take on new responsibilities at their practices, or simply be the best professionals they can be.

But continuing education isn’t free. One way practices can show appreciation for their dental assistants’ dedication is covering the cost of continuing education. Reimbursing continuing education costs can benefit the entire practice, as the staff will be more knowledgeable and well trained. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Read more: 4 ways DANB certification benefits the whole dental practice

Holiday bonus

Extra cash can go a long way during the holidays, whether it’s used for gifts, travel, or just everyday expenses. Plus, it can boost staff morale, going a long way toward building an office culture that shows dental staff members are valued. When the team feels valued and morale is high, it improves job satisfaction and productivity.

“Our doctor gets us all lunch at least once a week, as well as plans parties for birthdays and every other holiday, and he also provides bonuses,” says Neysha. “We are recognized daily.”

Read more: Why dental practices should consider loyalty bonuses