5 ways to celebrate dental assistants during Dental Assistants Recognition Week

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The first full week of March is also a very important week for some very important members of your dental practice. March 1-7 has been designated by the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA), and other dental groups as Dental Assistants Recognition Week. It’s a great time to recognize dental assistants for the work they do every day in the practice.

To help you plan a way to celebrate these individuals and the key role they play in your dental practice’s success, I asked several dental assistants for some ideas on what has made an impact on them in the past. Below are five of those ideas that will help you celebrate the dental assistants in your practice.

1. A personal note of thanks – Previously in my career, I did a survey of dental assistants throughout the country and I asked them what was the nicest thing a dentist ever said to them. The overwhelming majority told me two simple words made the biggest impact on them … “thank you.” As human beings, we all yearn to be appreciated and dental assistants are no different than the rest of us. Having the entire team sit down and write exactly what each member appreciates about the dental assistants in your practice will make a profound impact on those assistants and be something that is remembered and cherished for quite some time.

2. In-office celebration – Decorate the office to let your patients know this is a special week. Why not let your patients know how much you love your dental assistants? They may want to join in with words of thanks and encouragement because the dental assistant is often one of the most vital personal links between the practice and the patient. Think about having a carry-in snack day or lunch as the highlight of the celebration.


3. Happy hour with the team – Looking for a good excuse to have a team-building exercise? Why not have some fun outside the office this week? Maybe it’s happy hour and bowling or some other activity, but do something that, while you can raise your glass to the assistant, you can also grow closer as a team by having fun.

4. A colorful arrangement – Your dental assistants will love having a little color added to their day … and it’s also something they can take home and share with pride with their loved ones. And remember, an arrangement doesn’t have to be just flowers. Edible Arrangements are becoming a more and more popular choice.

5. Gift card for shopping – It may be the least creative of the list, but it’s certainly a nice gesture. Find out where your dental assistant likes to shop and give him or her a gift card to his or her favorite store (along with a nice handwritten note). It’ll prove you have taken the time to get to know your assistant beyond the operatory.

Additionally, March is a big month for the ADAA as it celebrates its 90th anniversary. Congratulations to ADAA on 90 years of being the leader of the dental assisting profession!