It's so much more than a paycheck

You make the difference in lives every day

Usually when the topic of pay and dental assistants comes up at my lectures or roundtable discussions, I think of Donna Summer's song, "She works hard for the money." I've said it before and I'll say it again ... dental assistants are easily the most underpaid and underappreciated part of the dental team. I have personally seen how dental assistants work and sacrifice every day as part of their job. It's one of the reasons why I’m such a big fan and supporter of dental assistants.

I know money is an important topic to you. Anytime we publish an article on salaries, it is easily the most-read article in that issue of Dental Assisting Digest. You want to know how much your peers are making and what you can do to hopefully earn a little more in your own practice. I get that completely, and I will always do everything I can to help bring you the information you need to achieve your financial goals.

However, I also know this ... I know you're not a dental assistant because of the pay. I know it wasn't the salary that lured you into the world of dentistry … and I know it's not the money that keeps you here. When I ask dental assistants around the country what is the best part of their job, the overwhelming answer is "the patients." You guys love the interaction you have with the patients in your practice, and you do everything you can to make your patients feel comfortable in a place that (let's face it) no one really enjoys visiting.

So while I know you’re interested in the dollar signs, I know the amount in your paycheck is often just a bonus to the smiles and "thank you" nods that you get from the patients whose lives you make a difference in every day.

That is admirable, my friends. I applaud you for the role you play every day in the lives of Americans from coast to coast. You make the difference to so many people ... and that is something that is worth more than its weight in gold.

Keep up the good work.

Kevin Henry
Editor, Dental Assisting Digest

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