Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why do dental assistants get snubbed at trade shows?

I recently posed that question to dental assistants around the country through my Dental Assisting Digest e-newsletter and through my MySpace page ( I travel to trade shows around the country and often speak to dental assistant groups during my trip. I often hear about a lack of respect for the DAs in the exhibit hall. One of my MySpace dental assistant friends from Arkansas relayed the following story to me...

The two times in the past that my office went to the Hinman Dental Convention in Atlanta, all us assistants were treated as if we didn't exist even when I told them that I did all the ordering for the entire office. Salespeople literally turned their head away from me or spoke directly to the dentist/hygienist that I was with without ever looking me in the eye! Also, assistants are never offered the free samples and "goodies." Everyone knows that the "goodies" are half the fun of a trade show! And with assistants doing the ordering, I would think that these companies would want the samples in the hands of those in the position to influence the office. These companies cater towards the dentists and the hygienists when the reality is that neither of those positions do the ordering 99% of the time. Even with new products, it is usually me who brings it up at staff meetings, etc for discussion. What is up with that?!?!

So I pose the question to you dentists and hygienists reading this ... what is up with that? Who does the ordering in your office? Is it the assistant? Are these ladies worthy of being treated with respect at dental shows? If not, why, in your opinion?

Assistants who read this ... have you been treated differently at a trade show because you were an assistant. Let me know by replying to this blog or dropping me an email at

1 comment:

maddie said...

I am a hygienist and the same snubbing goes for us at trade shows. The first question asked at the booths is are you a dentist. When I tell them no, their eyes glaze over and I also feel slighted.