Celebrating 25 years of DANB certification
Jenifer Dyment-Gilbert, CDA, reflects on the countless benefits DANB certification brings
Since earning DANB’s CDA certification in 1994, Jenifer Dyment-Gilbert, CDA, has lived in four states and held several different jobs as a result of her cross-country moves. Relocating is never easy, but Dyment-Gilbert credits her DANB certification status for the success she’s had with being able to stand out during the hiring process and land the role she was seeking.
“Holding national certification has made it more convenient to take jobs in different states,” Dyment-Gilbert says. “DANB certification absolutely helped me get the job each time.”
Today, Dyment-Gilbert is the clinical director at OX Orthodontix in Maryland, and she is proud to have recently celebrated her 25-year DANB certification milestone. “I was so thrilled to receive my 25-year certification recognition gift,” Dyment-Gilbert says. “My employer was proud as well and publicly recognized me for my achievement. It was very special.”
Beyond recognition, thanks to DANB certification, Dyment-Gilbert has felt better equipped to grow in her career and explore a variety of dental specialties, including periodontics, oral surgery and now orthodontics. She’s been able to climb the career ladder, starting as a dental assistant early on in her career, to currently serving as the clinical director at the practice where she’s worked for the past 10 years.
“DANB certification absolutely has helped me grow professionally,” says Dyment-Gilbert.
As clinical director, one of Dyment-Gilbert’s duties is to help fill open roles in the office. She has seen the hiring process from both sides, from the view of the applicant and of the hiring manager. And she understands how DANB certification can set a candidate apart.
“Being the one who interviews some of our applicants first, if I have to choose between hiring somebody who holds DANB certification and somebody who doesn’t, even if they have the same experience level, I am much more inclined to go with somebody who holds DANB certification," Dyment-Gilbert says. “There are requirements to meet for maintaining DANB certification, and doing so shows a level of commitment to our field.”
For Dyment-Gilbert, to be certified by DANB also means to “have a general knowledge of everything” dental, since certificants must meet the continuing dental education (CDE) requirements needed for DANB certification renewal. By accomplishing this annually for the past 25 years, she has kept a finger on the pulse of the latest information in dentistry.
“I’ve been able to grow my knowledge in our industry through completing CDE as part of certification renewal,” says Dyment-Gilbert, who understands the importance of building on her educational foundation: She is a graduate of the dental assisting program at New Hampshire Technical Institute.
Dyment-Gilbert appreciates flexibility in CDE options and, along these lines, has found the DALE Foundation’s online options to be especially convenient to complete. “I’ve completed a few courses through the DALE Foundation, and I thought the experience was an easy one,” she says. “The courses are all online — so you really can click and go!”
Higher pay and more respect
Dyment-Gilbert acknowledges countless additional benefits of holding DANB certification. First, she notes, “There’s definitely a difference in pay, when you’re holding certification versus not.”
Second, “There is a greater respect from the doctors when you hold certification, as opposed to not,” Dyment-Gilbert adds. “And there’s a level of respect that exists among the staff for those that have become certified.”
With this in mind, Dyment-Gilbert encourages those dental assistants who aren’t DANB certified to take the next step in their careers and go for it.
“Don’t just be qualified; be certified,” she recommends. “DANB certification is known nationwide.”
And to Dyment-Gilbert, holding DANB certification and enjoying the benefits it has brought to her career has meant the world.