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DANB survey results indicate growth for dental assistants

Survey shows agreement in the profession for dental assisting advancement

April 6, 2024
Survey results from dental assistants, dentists, and consumers indicate they all agree on the importance of education and uniformity for DA requirements.
Meg Kaiser, Associate Editor

Recent survey results from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) reveal that the dental assisting profession is making great strides in recognition and elevating the profession.

The survey was conducted in October 2023, with dental assistants, dentists, and consumers responding. Bottom line: everyone agrees that educated, qualified dental assistants are a top priority for the profession. Assistants want to pursue education, dentists want to hire qualified assistants, and the public wants credentialed assistants working in their mouths.

Accomplishing this is a challenge with the current shortage of dental assistants. DANB is working tirelessly to overcome the current obstacles.

Given the results of the survey, the Dental Assisting Professional Model Workgroup is happening just in time. Eighty-three percent of dentists and DAs agree there needs to be uniformity among states regarding dental assisting laws and regulations.

Seventy-two percent of dentists report difficulties hiring assistants due to not enough applicants or unqualified applicants. Fifty-nine percent of dentists prefer to hire educated and credentialed assistants. More than half of DAs and dentists cite lack of career growth as an obstacle for those who might be considering entering the field.

Eighty-three percent of respondents want states to adopt similar regulations for DAs so that dental assisting requirements become more uniform. This will make hiring qualified candidates much easier for dentists.

An overwhelming 90% of dentists and DAs believe that DAs should hold a license to perform radiography, followed by 82% for sterilization procedures, monitoring nitrous oxide, fabricating and placing temporary crowns, and applying pit and fissure sealants.  

When it comes to the public, they prefer qualified assistants working in their mouths, with 73% responding that they want someone with formal education as their dental assistant, and 64% expecting their DA to have a certificate or associate degree.

DANB’s latest efforts are addressing all these needs and more so that the dental assisting profession can grow and receive the respect it deserves.

Learn more about DANB and how you can make your voice heard