Dental assistants love what they do. They often go above and beyond for their dentists, co-workers and patients. But there are specific parts of the job that particularly fuel their passion for the profession. We caught up with several dental assistants to find out what they find most fulfilling about their careers.
Many dental assistants enter the profession because they derive great joy in helping patients. They not only enhance the health of patients but help create smiles that boost patients’ confidence and self-esteem.
“Every day I help improve our patients’ quality of life. When patients see their smiles restored, it often brings them to tears. Seeing that does the same to me!” — Ivy G.
Being a Nurturing Presence
Compassion and empathy run deep in dental assistants. Those traits make them adept at comforting anxious patients. When dental assistants ease their fears, they create pleasant dental experiences for patients. Patients are then more likely to return to maintain their oral health.
“I like knowing that patients who have a fear of coming to the dentist have the confidence and trust in us to put them at ease! Seeing patients smile and happy when leaving is the best reward. It’s a good feeling to have!” — Skelton A.
Developing Lifelong Relationships
Great dental assistants have an innate ability to connect and build trust with patients. Those bonds ultimately develop into lifelong relationships with patients and their families.
“I work in an ortho office, and I get to know the kids very well. After 26 years, I enjoy those same kids all grown up and bringing their families in. Knowing you have impacted all those lives is total fulfillment!” — Sherry W., COA
Many dental assistants say educating patients about oral hygiene is one of the most important parts of their job. They enlighten patients about proper brushing and flossing, post-treatment follow-up and how good oral health is linked to overall health.
“I work in a men’s medium-security prison, and most of the patients I see have never had someone show them how to correctly brush and floss. I love seeing the transformation when the inmate actually puts the effort into cleaning up his mouth. The self-confidence is very visible.” — Jessica E., CDA
Performing An Array of Duties
No two days are alike at a fast-paced dental practice — and dental assistants relish it. They enjoy the various responsibilities that come with their jobs. From assisting the dentist to sterilizing instruments and applying other infection control standards and guidelines to keeping track of inventory, dental assistants like the diversity and challenges of their profession.
“The variety of people and procedures that fill my day lead to interesting and enjoyable experiences.” — Marcia J., CDA
Learning Every Day
The best dental assistants enjoy learning. The evolving nature of dentistry requires that they stay on top of the latest techniques and procedures in the field. Excellent dental assistants are committed to professional development and continuing education.
“There is never an end to the new knowledge, technologies and techniques in the dental field.” — Sarah S., CDA
Dental assistants do a lot in a day. They help to keep the front and back offices running smoothly. They anticipate their dentists’ needs. And they serve as a calming presence for nervous patients. So assistants appreciate it when their dentists and patients value their expertise and compassion.
“I love getting a sincere ‘thank you’ from the patients and my doctors. It means so much to be appreciated!” — Crystal B., CDA
What do you enjoy most about your dental assisting career? What would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.