November is the month for expressing gratitude, including for dental assistants and the essential work they do.

“Dental assistants are all so valuable!” says Nessa.

Amy agrees dental assistants deserve recognition, and that a little gratitude goes a long way: “Feeling appreciated by your doctor and your patients — and knowing you help people smile — is the best.”

Below are three reasons dental assistants deserve appreciation.

 

1. Dental Assistants Always Put Patients First

Dental assistants have many important duties to perform in the dental office, and one of their top priorities is providing patient care. Dedicated dental assistants go above and beyond to ensure patients feel comforted and cared for, from the very beginning of their dental appointment until they leave the dental office with a successful treatment outcome. Dental assistants strive to answer patients’ questions, hear and validate their concerns, and empathize with their experiences. Many dental assistants say their patients thank them for helping them through their appointment. And dental assistants’ colleagues say they are grateful for dental assistants’ positive attitude and dedication to helping their patients.

Dental assistants say making a difference in patients’ lives is one of the top rewards of the role. “I love getting to know my patients,” agrees Diane. “I really like making people feel comfortable.”

 

2. Dental Assistants Are Dedicated Teammates

Dental assistants are essential dental team members. They are vital to ensuring the dentist has what they need throughout the appointment. We’ve heard from dentists that dental assistants’ knowledge, skills, intuition to anticipate the dentists’ needs, and overall passion for the profession are recognized and appreciated.

Dental assistants also step up to support their dental team. In fact, being a team player is one of the top five qualities the most successful dental assistants have! Through teamwork, dental assistants offer their best every day to their patients and the entire practice. Dental assistants work hard behind the scenes to help the entire office run smoothly. Their superb organization skills, compassionate spirit, and demonstrated knowledge and experience all make a difference in the dental office. Ultimately, dental assistants strive to uplift others, including their colleagues, who are thankful for their efforts.

Rebecca agrees dental assistants are important members of any dental team: “Dental assistants are the core to any successful dental practice and should be respected and treated as such.”

 

3. Dental Assistant Strive to Know and Do More

Last but not least, dental assistants deserve thanks for all the effort they put into staying on the cutting edge of knowledge, so that they remain a top-performing team member and provide the utmost patient care. Completing continuing education takes time and dedication, and it shows in dental assistants’ day-to-day office contributions when they’re going the extra mile.

For example, many dental assistants seek out education opportunities such as the online options available through the DALE Foundation, DANB’s official affiliate. And 36,000 dental assistants and counting have earned DANB certification to be able to demonstrate their knowledge and skill sets to their teammates, their employer and their patients.

Shares Mareli: “I love learning!”

Plus, many dental assistants are also tasked — now more than ever — with keeping themselves, patients and dental staff safe in the dental office, including from COVID-19 exposure. During the beginning of the pandemic especially, many dental assistants took the lead on implementing revised infection control protocols.

To gain the latest knowledge on this critical topic, dental assistants have been honing their infection prevention and control expertise through additional education. Some are motivated to complete the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate Program™.

Liliana recommends the program to anyone who is interested in learning more about infection control: “It was a good experience, and I gained an innovative perspective,” she says.

 

Thank you, dental assistants, for all you do!