American Institute Campuses Celebrate Dental Assistants Recognition Week

Dental Assistant Recognition Week (DARW) March 5-11, 2017, all locations – American Institute joined in the week-long international celebration of the contributions made by dental assistants. This year’s theme for Dental Assistant Recognition Week (DARW) was “Patient focused with passion and purpose,” reflecting the growing importance of dentistry’s role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants.

“Dental Assistants are an important part of our AI family, and they are critical team members in every dental practice,” said Brooke Baran, Vice President of Education. “American Institute is proud to take this opportunity to honor our hardworking students and graduates who demonstrate constant dedication to their careers.”

The Toms River campus hosted a lunch for dental assisting students and faculty. Guest speaker Dr. Greenberg of Mt. Holly Family Dentistry, spoke about the role of the dental assistant and what dentists expect from an extern coming into the office.

“Dr. Greenberg’s presentation provoked a lot of questions from the students,” said Donielle Fitch, Director of Education. “It was a very intimate conversation, as Dr. Greenberg sat with the students and shared insights from his 30+ years of experience.”

A group of 12 students and two faculty members also traveled to Baltimore to tour the National Museum of Dentistry. Designated by Congress as the official museum of the dental profession in the U.S., the museum houses an extensive collection of more than 40,000 dental instruments, furniture, artwork and exhibits focused on the importance of oral health. For many of the students, it was an eye-opening experience.

The students were very impressed by the history of the leaders in dentistry, including the many women and minorities who have held and now hold significant rolls in dental education and in professional organizations,” said Ms. Fitch.

Favorite moments during their visit including viewing an old black and white clip from the television series “The Little Rascals,” in which one of the kids has a dental appointment. “It was very funny, and the students enjoyed comparing that treatment room to the rooms we have today.”

Other exhibits reminded the students how far dentistry as advanced over the years. “They were astounded (and a little grossed out!) when they realized that long ago, assistants didn’t use gloves while assisting.”

Congratulations and thank you to all our dental assisting students, faculty and graduates for their dedication to this valuable profession. A week isn’t long enough to honor your many contributions.
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