Even though Dental Assistants Recognition Week is in March, we think it’s important to know how to thank a dental assistant throughout the year. Everyone likes to hear “thank you,” and dental assistants are no exception. This is especially true in November, the month when Thanksgiving is on the calendar.

There are many ways to say “thank you.” Here are a few stories you’ve shared with us about some memorable ways employers or patients have shown their gratitude for your efforts and hard work.

A thank-you note or card

Like smiles, which cost nothing to give, cards are inexpensive to share as well. We know that dental assistants appreciate it when patients or dentists put their thankfulness in writing.

“A patient who had many years of a dental phobia sent my employer a thank-you note specifically naming me as helping her overcome her fears and making her feel more comfortable than anyone ever has. The note was very descriptive and lengthy. After the dentist opened the note and read it, he came to show it to me and said, ‘Way to go!’ The fact this patient singled me out and took the time to let the doctor know how I made her feel meant the world to me.” — Suzie F.

A small or heartfelt gift

Some dental assistants have shared with us that they appreciate receiving a gift for a great day’s work.

“A man came in to get a tooth filled, and he was telling me about how sweet the blackberries are on his seedless blackberry bushes. I told him I love blackberries and had never heard of seedless blackberries. He left and, about two hours later, returned at the office with a seedless blackberry bush he had dug up out of his yard for me to take home and plant in my yard. It was so sweet. I am still enjoying the bush 10 years later.” — Kristi W.

Baked goods and other treats

They say that the best dishes and desserts are made from the heart. That’s probably true of treats for dental assistants as well! Some dental assistants say they appreciate when patients share baked goods and other food with the team.

“My dentist thanks me all the time. He is good to the staff and has done many wonderful things for us. But let me tell you: The Amish baked goods our Amish patients bring in midday when we are all starving is so awesome! Others have brought treats such as chocolate, jelly beans, cinnamon rolls, stuffed peppers and more. We’re definitely blessed!” — Guinevere J.

Encouragement from the dentist

Routinely receiving encouragement and positive feedback from a supportive dentist can go a long way in making a dental assistant feel appreciated.

“It’s helpful knowing that my dentist compliments me. When I was just beginning my career as a dental assistant, it wasn’t easy. But knowing that I was catching on quickly, because my dentist made me aware that I was doing great, made me strong.” — Ashley S.

Positive feedback from the patient

Ultimately, it can make a dental assistant’s day to hear from a grateful and impressed patient.

“The best compliment a dental assistant can receive is a patient referral, of course. Another is when patients tell you that the care you provided had exceeded their expectations.” — Irina Z.

How do you feel appreciated in the workplace?