New DALE Foundation survey highlights dental assistants’ value

The DALE Foundation survey proves that dental staff opinions of dental assistants is very high. Assistants are recognized as valuable members of the team.

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Do dental assistants bring value to the dental practice? Survey says yes!

The DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board, has just published the first findings of its latest survey, the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice. According to the dentists and dental office managers who participated in the survey, dental assistants contribute to the dental practice in many ways.

See the full report.

Productivity

Overall, 99% of dentists and dental office managers agreed that dental assistants contribute to the productivity of the dental practice. They said that dental assistants make significant contributions—97% agreed that effective dental assistants allow the dentist to move to the next patient more quickly, and 98% said that effective dental assistants contribute to team synergy and make all team members more effective. They also help alleviate strain on the team, as 86% noted that dental assistants help prevent the dentist from becoming burned out.

“I consider myself to be like an air-flight controller, anticipating everything always before it happens and keeping the office flowing smoothly,” says dental assistant Susan T.

Profitability

Dental assistants contribute to the practice’s profitability in many ways, according to dentists and dental office managers. Specifically, 97% reported that dental assistants contribute to patient retention, and 91% said dental assistants make it more likely that patients will accept the dentist-recommended treatment plans.

“Patients sometimes come in nervous about their procedures, and they depend on us to help ease their fears. As dental professionals, we treat the whole patient, and not just clinically, but emotionally as well,” says Laura R., who works as a dental assistant.

Patient and provider safety

For dental offices, proper infection prevention and control is critical, and dental assistants are on the front lines of keeping patients and providers safe. According to 99% of dentists and dental assistants, sterilization and disinfection duties are delegated to dental assistants in the practice.

“Dental assistants who stay up-to-date with infection control protocols minimize the risk of the spread of infection and disease to their patients and to themselves,” says Eloise R., CDA, CPFDA, CDPMA. “That is certainly a win-win for everybody.”

About the research

The Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice survey was conducted in November 2016 by Association Laboratory, an independent research firm, on behalf of the DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of DANB. The Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice research was sponsored by Benco Dental and Henry Schein.

Additional insights and findings from the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice research will be available in the coming months. For the latest updates, visit dalefoundation.org/research.

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