Over the years, we’ve heard from dental assistants who have said they sometimes feel like “just” an assistant. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. On the contrary — dental assistants are incredibly valuable!

In fact, findings from the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice research show that dental assistants contribute to the dental practice in many ways. This new research was commissioned by the DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). And the results underscore what we’ve always believed — that dental assistants make a difference! Read on to learn more.

1. Dental Assistants Contribute to Practice Productivity

Overall, 99% of dentists and dental office managers agreed that dental assistants contribute to the productivity of the dental practice. They said dental assistants make significant contributions — 97% agreed that effective dental assistants allow the dentist to move to the next patient more quickly, and 98% said that effective dental assistants contribute to team synergy and make all team members more effective.

Dental assistants also help alleviate strain on the team, as 86% of dentists and dental office managers noted that dental assistants help prevent the dentist from becoming burned out.

2. Dental Assistants Boost the Bottom Line

Dental assistants contribute to the practice’s profitability in many ways, according to dentists and dental office managers.

Specifically, 97% reported that dental assistants contribute to patient retention. Additionally, 91% said dental assistants make it more likely that the patient will accept the dentist-recommended treatment plan.

3. Dental Assistants Help to Keep Patients and Providers Safe

Busy dental offices see thousands of patients each year, and keeping those visits safe for everyone is essential. Proper infection prevention and control is critical — and dental assistants are on the front lines of keeping patients and providers safe by appropriately applying federal and state standards, regulations and guidelines.

According to 99% of dentists and dental assistants, sterilization and disinfection duties are delegated to dental assistants in the practice.

4. Dental Assistants Have Purchasing Power

Dental assistants play a key role in making purchasing decisions for the practice. In fact, 74% of dental assistants said that they recommend products. Also, 72% are involved in placing orders.

DANB Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificants are particularly influential. Dental assistants who hold DANB’s CDA certification were more likely to independently meet with sales reps, make recommendations for purchases, and place orders for some products and services.

Learn More

This post is part of a series highlighting the DALE Foundation’s latest research on the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice. To learn more, read the other posts or visit the DALE Foundation’s website.

Other posts in the series:

Also, learn more about the research: