It’s been a tough year.

But with tough times can come an opportunity to rise above the challenges and emerge stronger than ever. In fact, we’ve heard some dental assistants say the time is now to create and begin working toward the following big career goals they have for 2021.


Earning and Maintaining DANB Certification

There are more than 37,000 dental assistants nationwide who hold DANB certification and already know firsthand about the many benefits of certification — including earning a higher salary and being in a better position to secure the right role in the dental office.

The latter point could be especially appealing to those who temporarily find themselves out of work during the pandemic.

Marlyce G., CDA, believes her background as a dental assistant, coupled with her commitment to maintaining DANB certification, helped bring her back to the dental practice sooner than her non-certified peers.

Marlyce also credits DANB for helping her to secure her dream job: working in dental education.

“It’s so important to me to always perform at the highest level in any position in my career, and I feel that holding DANB certification demonstrates I’m motivated to reach as high as possible, to go as far as I can professionally,” says Marlyce.

“It’s important to me to hold on to DANB certification,” she adds, “especially since I hope to one day work as a program director in a dental assisting educational program.”


Taking the Next Step in Your Dental Career

This coming year, some dental assistants may be considering their next step in their dental careers. For some, this might be transitioning to dental office management roles, or into being the office’s dental infection control coordinator.

Other dental assistants might consider becoming a dental assistant educator, like Marlyce, or even taking on expanded duties in the dental office as their state allows.

See your state’s dental assisting requirements.

When it comes to setting and reaching professional goals, the sky’s the limit for an ambitious dental assistant — coupled with the right preparation, of course.

Terri L., FAADOM, has made the switch from dental assisting to dental practice management. She recommends that anyone considering a similar career change look for available continuing education (CE) options to help make it happen.

“Today, there are so many CE courses out there that are available to help you learn and build on your knowledge,” Terri says, adding this advice: “If there’s an extra role you want to take on — such as that of a dental office manager — or a topic you wish to explore, go for it!”


Expanding Your Knowledge

Looking to expand your knowledge and continue your education? The DALE Foundation can help! Whether you’re seeking CE for meeting DANB’s Recertification Requirements, for renewing your state dental assisting license or registration, of for simply quelling your own thirst for knowledge, there are a variety of online offerings to meet your budget and needs.

See the DALE Foundation’s product catalog.

These offerings including online review courses and articles on topics including clinical dental assisting, pediatric dentistry, infection control, dental practice management and more.