Dental Assistants Recognition Week
By 2nd Lt. Kayla Fitzgerald, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 06, 2020
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Dental assistants are essential to every dental clinic and Dental Assistants Recognition Week is held the first week in March to recognize the critical part they play in patient care.
This year’s theme is "A 20/20 Dental Assistant - Looking Toward the Future."
“By having this week, we can take time to recognize [dental assistants] for their hard work,” said Master Sgt. Leah Breakey, 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron dental flight chief. “They are constantly working and see patients all day.”
Dental assistants’ responsibilities include maintaining records, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, and setting up for and assisting during procedures.
Being able to serve others and make a difference is a big pro of the job, according to Staff Sgt. Myron Little, 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of dental logistics.
“What makes me get up every day ready to come to work is [being able] to help patients,” said Little.
Dental assistants are typically the first person a patient comes in contact with upon entering the clinic as well as the last person they see before leaving.
“As dental assistants, we’re kind of the backbone of the dental clinic,” said Little. “I’d say we are the left and right hand to our doctor.”
An important component of a dental assistant’s responsibilities is to help ensure service members are ready to support the mission both here at Tyndall and while deployed.
“Readiness is a big thing,” said Little. “We want to make sure that anyone that we send downrange is deployment ready.”
Teamwork is also critical to maintaining high morale throughout the dental clinic.
“Our job is to work as a team to help one another and to make sure that no one goes unnoticed for the work they’ve done,” said Little.
Dental Assistants Recognition Week is sponsored by the American Dental Assistants Association, the American Dental Association, the Canadian Dental Assistants Association and the Canadian Dental Association. For more information, visit the ADA website at www.ada.org.