With the new year (and decade!) underway, dental assistants may be starting to brainstorm professional New Year’s resolutions for 2020 and beyond.

Tina A., CDA, for example, has already given her career goals some general thought: “I’ve been a dental assistant for more than 25 years. I always strive to be the best assistant I can be,” she says.

While this is likely a common aspiration for most dental assistants, what specific goals might you be setting for 2020? Below, dental assistants share their New Year’s resolutions.

1. Setting Your Sights on Certifications

We’ve heard from many dental assistants who have set a goal to pursue DANB certification in 2020. This might be because they know DANB certification brings many benefits, from potentially higher pay to greater job satisfaction and more.

“I believe becoming certified would be the beginning of a new journey to expand my influence in dentistry,” says Alicia G.

Christina P., CDA, has experienced firsthand the benefits of holding DANB certification. This is why her New Year’s resolution is to earn as many additional DANB certifications as possible in the future. The sky’s the limit! “Certification makes me more confident in my work, and more valuable to my employer,” Christina believes.

And even though CDA certificant Alicia W.’s goal for 2020 is to begin dental hygiene school, she also resolves to continue maintaining DANB certification even after she graduates and begins working as a hygienist. “I plan to keep renewing DANB certification for as long as I work in dentistry, no matter what other job titles I may hold in the future,” elaborates Alicia W. “I’ll always treasure being a CDA certificant; it’s very meaningful to me, because being a dental assistant is where everything began.”

Application of knowledge obtained as a dental assistant — especially a DANB certificant! — can help every member of the dental team.

2. Pursuing EFDA Aspirations

In the coming year, some dental assistants also aspire to perform expanded functions as their state allows. For example, Kimberly M., CDA, is already on her way to accomplishing this goal: “I was accepted into an expanded functions dental assistant (EFDA) program in my state for the 2019-2020 year!” she reports.

Kimberly proudly adds, “I was one of 18 chosen enrollees out of 200 applicants. I look forward to continuing my education and working as an EFDA.”

Likewise, CDA certificant Jodie S.’s resolution is to become an EFDA in her state: “I want to reach this goal not only for myself, but also to be a more valuable asset to my dental office and fellow dental assistants,” she says.

3. Transitioning to Teaching

Another popular New Year’s resolution among some dental assistants is to enter the teaching profession, or to grow their already established career in education.

For example, Gina C., CDA, a longtime dental assistant with an associate degree, plans to graduate in the new year with a bachelor’s degree. Her goal is to instruct in a dental assisting program. “Teaching is my passion, and earning this degree will help me to become a teacher,” Gina shares. “I love helping new dental assistants take their career to the next level.”

Jillian F., CDA, who already is working as a dental assisting instructor, hopes to become a dental assisting program director in the future. To help make this happen, she’ll continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the new year. Jillian plans to graduate in spring 2020 and also eventually earn her master’s degree. “I look forward to continuing to teach dental assisting and share my passion for dentistry,” she says. “I believe in the importance of lifelong learning.”


What do you aspire to accomplish in 2020? Share your resolutions!