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Recognizing the importance of dental assistants

February 16, 2015 The American Dental Association is encouraging dental offices to take time to commend the dental assistants who help keep practices thriving.

Dental Assistants Recognition Week is scheduled for March 1-7 and dentists in the United States and Canada will celebrate by honoring their dental assistants for the variety of duties they perform and helping them provide patients with quality dental care. This year's theme, "Dental Assisting: Embracing the Changes of the Profession," acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry's role in health care and the many ways that the field of dental assisting continues to diversify and expand.

"It takes a special person to be a dental assistant," says Dr. Joseph G. Unger, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice. "Dental assistants balance a variety of high priority responsibilities that benefit the patient, the dentist, other members of the team and the practice itself. The combination of their clinical knowledge and people skills makes them an important asset to their office. The ADA encourages all dentists to observe Dental Assistants Recognition Week by recognizing the contributions of these valued staff members."

Many dental assistants will observe the week by participating in educational and charity events and other team activities. Dentists often show their gratitude for dental assistants' diverse contributions to the practice and the public by providing perks such as luncheons, flowers or treats.

Each year, the ADAA urges dental assistants to recap their activities and successes throughout the week and submit them for possible publication in The Dental Assistant, the ADAA journal.

Dental team members can download a kit that includes ideas for a news release; an overview on using social media to promote DARW online; sample proclamations and public service announcements; and in-house promotions. It also includes examples of what last year's participants did to recognize DARW.

Dental Assistants Recognition Week is sponsored by the ADA, the ADAA, the Canadian Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Assistants Association. For more information on the ADAA and to download the kit, visit dentalassistant.org and click on DARW on the left side of the page.