Dental Assistant Recognition Week 2023
– Updated March 2, 2023 –
Show Your Appreciation to Dental Assistants
The ADA Council on Dental Practice encourages dentists and their teams to acknowledge the dedication and contributions of their dental assistants during Dental Assistant Recognition Week, March 5-11.
This year’s Dental Assistants Recognition Week has a special theme: The ♥ of Dental Offices Through Education, Commitment, & Safety. The theme reflects “the importance of dentistry’s role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants, who are central in improving a clinic’s productivity and enhancing patient satisfaction.”
Dental Assistants Contribute to Practice Productivity
According to research, most dentists and dental office managers agree that dental assistants contribute to a practice’s overall productivity. Dentists can move between patients more quickly when dental assistants are there to help. When dental assistants can perform background or administrative tasks, they do dental teams a huge favor by helping to minimize the office’s workload.
Below, we’ve included just a few more ways dental assistants positively impact their offices. Whether helping out with a procedure or checking a patient in, a dental assistant performs many tasks within a practice to keep it running smoothly.
Dental Assistants Perform a Variety of Work
Dental assistants don’t just do one or two jobs while on duty; they complete a wide variety of work throughout the course of a day:
- Sterilizing equipment
- Conducting X-rays
- Organizing dental records
- Educating patients on oral health
They also help with specific tasks like:
- Taking dental impressions
- Cleaning patients’ teeth
- Administering fluoride rinse
- Applying dental sealants
Infection Control Duties are Especially Important
There are state and federal regulations that dictate how a dentist’s office should approach infection prevention. Most dental offices see upwards of thousands of patients each year. For this reason, everything needs to be sanitized and disinfected between patients, especially as we continue to manage the effects of COVID-19. Dental assistants are responsible for upholding these standards and ensuring offices are safe.
Dental Assistants Make Smooth Operation Possible
To ensure everything runs smoothly around the office, Dental assistants take on several responsibilities daily. They can help check in patients, speed along the cleaning process, and even prepare X-rays while other staff members see other patients.
Think of a dental assistant as the air-traffic controller of an office. They need to maintain the practice’s schedule, talk to patients, and help with day-to-day work.
Dental Assistants Impact Patient Retention
Patient retention has much more to do with dental assistants than you might think. Consider that most patients spend more time with dental assistants than with a practice’s dentist. Dental assistants are many times the ones who educate patients about their oral health.
This is, without a doubt, a patient-facing job. Many patients decide to return to a practice based on their experience with the office’s dental assistants. The right assistant can help an office hold onto old patients and bring in new ones.
Easy Ways to Make Dental Assistants Feel Appreciated This Week
If you work with a dental assistant or know someone training to become one, there are some simple ways you can help them feel appreciated this National Dental Assistant Recognition Week:
- Make your appreciation visible: Try setting up banners and balloons to show assistants they’re valued. Even patients will get excited about the celebration.
- Make the appreciation personal: Nobody likes a forced “thank you,” so don’t be the ones to give one! Make sure your appreciation for assistants is personal to what they individually bring to your team or office.
- Celebrate: Get excited! Dental assistants deserve to be celebrated for all the work they do day in and day out. Try making time for a little party to show how much you care.
- Make your appreciation tangible: Measurable appreciation is the best appreciation.
Thank a Dental Assistant
Even though this week is specifically devoted to recognizing dental assistants, they play a central role in dental practices throughout the year. Everyone should be grateful to their dental assistants for the contributions they make to keeping patients healthy.
Ready to launch your career as a dental assistant? Contact us at 1-800-645-5157 or fill out the form ON THIS PAGE to get started!
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