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The history and celebration of Dental Assistants Recognition Week

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

Updated March 8, 2024. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Dental Assistant student DA

A dental practice would have a tough time running without its dental assistants. After all, dental assistants are responsible for many often-overlooked tasks that contribute to a well-coordinated, smoothly run operation. Aside from helping with direct patient care during procedures, dental assistants also handle behind-the-scenes tasks such as recordkeeping, appointment scheduling, patient instruction, billing and payments, and cleaning duties. They make the dentist's job easier, the dental practice more productive, and the patients more satisfied.

It's for these reasons that we observe Dental Assistants Recognition Week. Let's learn about the significance of this event and some of the ways people celebrate it.

What Is Dental Assistants Recognition Week?

Dental Assistant assists dentist during dental procedure.

One of the most important responsibilities of a dental assistant is to support the dentist during an operation or routine procedure.

Dental Assistants Recognition Week — also known as DARW, Dental Assistants Appreciation Week, or Dental Assistant Week — is a weeklong North American observance that formally acknowledges the important role that dental assistants play in the health care ecosystem. It takes place annually in the first full week of March and follows a theme each year. In 2023, the theme was “The Heart of Dental Offices Through Education, Commitment & Safety.” The 2024 theme is "100 Years Supporting Oral Health," which specifically honors the profession's long history.

The history in question began in 1924 with the first national convention of dental assistants. The following year saw the founding of the American Dental Assistants Association, which is not only the oldest extant professional organization devoted to dental assisting but also the largest. The ADAA was the organization that founded Dental Assistants Recognition Week in 1977, and today, it continues to promote the observance via press kits, graphic design products, and various other resources. 

Read more about common dental assistant duties and work locations.

Interested In How To Become a Dental Assistant?

Click here to explore Dental Assistant Programs near you!


How Is Dental Assistants Recognition Week Celebrated?

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants communicate with patients and help them feel at ease, an important function that can greatly facilitate dental procedures.

Read more about the qualities of a dental assistant.

People in the United States and Canada celebrate Dental Assistants Recognition Week with various acts, gifts, and provisions. Whether you employ, know, or aspire to be a dental assistant, you can honor the profession and its practitioners in the following ways:

Take to Social Media

The ADAA encourages people to use social media to promote Dental Assistants Recognition Week to a wide audience. The ADAA's suggestions include:

  • Mentioning Dental Assistants Recognition Week in status updates or other posts.
  • Creating an event page for a specific Dental Assistants Recognition Week celebration.
  • Using a Dental Assistants Recognition Week hashtag (e.g., "DARW2024").
  • Giving shoutouts to the dental assistants in your life.

Write Handwritten Notes

Employers and friends of dental assistants can express their gratitude with a heartfelt handwritten note. The time and effort associated with writing a note by hand suggest a level of appreciation that digital media normally doesn't. 

Give Small Gifts

Along with your notes, you might include small gifts, such as gift cards or edible treats. If you have a particularly close relationship with a dental assistant, you could also book them a session at a self-care or wellness establishment, such as a spa or massage parlor. 

Treat the Staff to a Meal

Dental employers might want to treat their dental assistant staff to a free meal, preferably after the workday is over. A post-work dinner would allow the staff to take their time enjoying the food and drinks.

If you'd like to be on the receiving end of Dental Assistants Appreciation Week, consider enrolling in one of Concorde's dental assistant programs. You can train to earn your dental assisting diploma in as little as 8 months at one of the 16 Concorde campuses across eight states. You can also train to earn your dental assisting associate degree through the Memphis, TN and Southaven, MS campuses in as little as 8 months. Reach out to Concorde online, or call 1-800-693-7010 to learn more.

  1. "2023 DARW Kit," American Dental Assistants Association,

  2. "2024 DARW Kit," American Dental Assistants Association,

  3. "Dental Assistants Recognition Week 2024: Social Media," American Dental Assistants Association,

Take The Next Step Towards a Brighter Future

Interested in learning more about our Dental Assistant program? We have a Concorde representative ready to talk about what matters most to you. Get answers about start dates, curriculum, financial aid, scholarships and more!

  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.