Dental assistants put in many hours of hard work in pursuit of their careers. During their studies they will acquire an understanding of the dentistry practice including materials used, procedures performed as well as technical knowledge. They will also learn infection control protocols and how to ensure the safety of both patients and employees within a dental practice.
Their education doesn’t stop once they graduate and obtain a position as a dental assistant. Typically they will attend several hours of continuing education courses yearly, which include webinars, journal articles, lectures and in-service programs. These will all be necessary each year to stay on top of advancements made within dental care.
Most dental assistants are required to have national certification like the Certified Dental Assistant certification issued by the Dental Assisting National Board or state certifications. Upon employment, dental assistants will then have the opportunity to earn the designation of “Fellow” which is issued by the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). This designation is awarded after demonstration of continuing education and quality service.
The designation is a coveted one which shows that the dental assistant has been recognized for their professional accomplishments. It can be achieved through either a clinical or business path.
The following are benefits of becoming a Fellow of the ADAA:
- Increased self-esteem
- Enhanced professional status
- More confidence in professional abilities
- Be more valuable to patients and employers
- Elevated professional status
- Have higher level of education
Dentists take pride in offering their patients a staff that is highly educated and confident, and the Fellow designation shows that the dental assistant has achieved those standards.
Dental assistants who are active members of the ADAA and have 300 continuing education hours can apply for the Fellow designation. Upon completion of the requirements, eligible dental assistants will be recognized during the ADAA Annual Conference and given national recognition through press releases and the ADAA professional journal.