For the most part, the role that dental assistants play seems to be largely undervalued by the general population. Some people see a trip to the dentist to be a relatively straightforward affair but the extreme amount of work that goes on behind the scenes plays an important role in easing patient anxiety and streamlining the experience.
A quick glance at the professional responsibilities of dental assistants might prompt the observer to classify the bulk of their tasks to be purely administrative in nature. In reality, dental assistants play a much more personal role in each patient’s experience. The most common phenomenon associated with a dental appointment is anxiety. Dental Assistants play a huge role in allaying patient fears and prepping the tools necessary for an impending dental procedure.
Fortunately, strides have been made to honor the incalculable contributions that dental assistants have played in the field of oral hygiene.
Every March, Dental Assistant Recognition week takes place in Canada and the United States. The event sets up a weeklong period dedicated to imparting a sense of appreciation for the many accomplishments and important day-to-day functions of dental assistants across North America.
Dental Assistant Recognition Week, which typically takes place during the first week of March, is not a single localized event as much as it is a week of appreciation and continuing education that happens in dental practices all over the US and Canada. Typically, dental assistants spend the week participating in team activities, charity events or educational initiatives. Dentists take their assistants out for special meals or give them gifts to commemorate the event. Each year, specific anecdotal stories and examples of how assistants are recognized during Dental Assistant Recognition Week are published in the American Dental Assistants Association’s official publication The Dental Assistant.