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Back to school for dental assistant teachers

Aug. 21, 2018
The school year has begun, and teachers of dental assisting are getting back into the swing with their new students. DANB is available with a wealth of resources to help their school year go more smoothly.
With summer days winding down, many educators are getting back in the swing of the school season. Among these professionals are dental assistant instructors who have dedicated their careers to teaching and inspiring the next generation of dental assistants.

Read on for a glimpse into the many rewards of this career path from these educators’ perspectives. Also learn how earning certification through the Dental Assisting National Board Inc. (DANB) can help dental assistants secure a teaching role and thrive at the helm of the class.

The joys of becoming a dental assistant teacher

What attracts dental assistants to the classroom? For many, it’s the desire to give back and nurture the next generation of dental assistants. “I love to be able to give back what others have taught me,” says William S., CDA.

For dental assistant instructor Denise M., CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDPMA, the best aspect of the role is having a front row seat to watch her students thrive. “To me, teaching is like watching a rose bloom, seeing them transform in front of your eyes,” she says. “I just love dentistry, and the fact that I get paid to pass along some of my knowledge makes it the best job in the world.”

Hillary R., CDA, COA, CPFDA, CDPMA, a dental assisting program coordinator at the college level, agrees that being able to steer students toward success makes her job worth it. “I love graduation season, when they are all getting jobs and succeeding in life and they’re feeling good about themselves and the choices they’ve made.”

DANB certification elevates educators

As an educator, Hillary strives to stand out, and she counts on DANB to equip her with the knowledge she needs to excel in her role. “I want to be the best dental assistant and dental assisting educator that I can possibly be,” she said. This is why she pursued not one but four DANB certifications, with plans to earn additional DANB certifications in the future.

Denise also can speak to the many benefits of DANB certification. She says she pursued DANB certification for several reasons: to remain knowledgeable about new techniques and materials in dentistry, to challenge herself, to be the best educator she can be, and to set a positive example for her students. “I didn’t see it as fair to encourage my students to earn certification if I hadn’t done it myself,” Denise explains.

Janis T., CDA, COA, CPFDA, CDPMA, adds that holding DANB certification as an educator helps to motivate her students. “My best time is teaching and having students come back and show me that they have earned DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification, or when they tell me, ‘I’m going to earn more certifications than you!’” she says.

Sharon D., CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, CDPMA, who now works as a college adjunct professor and continuing education instructor, believes DANB certification helped take her professional journey to the next level. “Without DANB,I would not have accomplished what I have in my career,” she reflects. “I would not have been a professor. I would not have been an author. I would not have been any of these things if it had not been for DANB certification.”

Learn more about DANB certification

Holding DANB certification is often among the requirements for becoming a dental assisting educator, particularly to teach at a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited program. To learn more about becoming DANB certified, visit

Explore the DALE Foundation’s resources for educators

Did you know the DALE Foundation, DANB’s official affiliate, supports dental assisting educators’ curriculum with a variety of interactive, online resources? Learn more here!

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