Dental assistants have so much to offer the dental office, the dental team and patients. You always share your skills, expertise and smile with everyone you encounter. Usually, this is a lot of people!

In honor of Dental Assistants Recognition Week, we turned to your colleagues to learn just how much you mean to the entire team. Here, they list all the reasons why they appreciate you this week and every week.

1. You’re Vital to the Office

Dental assistants are so important when it comes to streamlining patient care. We’ve heard that dentists can’t picture the office without you because you’re so efficient, detail-oriented and observant. You keep track of every patient and appointment, and you routinely ensure that all materials are stocked and organized. Because you expertly set up and break down the treatment room, the dentist can work efficiently, and the patient can have a smooth, successful experience. Dentists praise your ability to keep everything on track.

“Alyce understands the fundamentals of dental assisting and the importance of instrument, equipment and office disinfection, sterilization and maintenance.” — Dr. Susan N.

“Emma has an excellent understanding of dental procedures and patient flow, and she ensures that patients are seen on time or made to feel at ease if there is a delay.” — Dr. John B.

2. You’re Knowledgeable

We’ve heard you say that dental assistants are the dentist’s second set of eyes or extra pair of hands. Therefore, you must be knowledgeable and up-to-date on all there is to know in dentistry. You understand the ins and outs of each procedure so that you can anticipate the dentist’s needs. You also communicate with patients about what to expect and answer any questions they may have. We’ve heard dentists admire your commitment to pursuing education and staying on the cutting edge of knowledge.

“Alyce is still on a quest to continue to learn more. She is studying and taking dental assisting certification exams. She also would like to learn Spanish to be able to aid in explaining procedures to Spanish-speaking individuals.” — Dr. Susan N.

“One thing that has always impressed me about Melissa is that she is continuously looking for ways to better herself and our office. I have heard her discussing continuing education courses with excitement on numerous occasions.” — Dr. Rachel D.

3. You’re Compassionate

Dental assistants are always putting patients first. So it’s no wonder we often hear from dentists, dental team members and patients alike that they are grateful for your dedication and compassion. You’re usually among the first faces patients see when they arrive at the dental office for their appointments, and you’re there every step of the way. This can be such a comfort to patients. Ultimately, your kindness may convince them to return to the office for follow-up or future routine care. Your colleagues agree that compassionate dental assistants make all the difference.

“Aricka’s desire to help others is a definite driving force in her growth, both professionally and personally. She has been involved in many community service events.” — Tonja B., CDA

“As a dental hygienist, I’m impressed with Tajuana’s passion to serve the patients with enthusiasm. She is very compassionate.” — Yaose P., dental hygienist

4. You’re Team Players

Especially because you’re so compassionate, dental assistants make great team members. You respect and support your teammates, and you always lend a helping hand, share your knowledge and sing your co-workers’ praises. Dental assistants, you shine — and you make sure others do, too! Your colleagues say they appreciate your inspiring team spirit.

“Rarely have I found an employee like Andrea who is so willing to share her knowledge with others in the office. She also steps in to help others on the team without being asked.” — Dr. Timothy S.

“In the time that she was with our practice, Candace was extremely dedicated to her patients and her team. She always had a positive attitude and contagious smile.” — Renee L., office manager

Thank you, dental assistants, for all that you do!

To show appreciation, the DALE Foundation has a special offer for dental assistants the entire month of March. Happy DARW!