Dental assistants are extremely important members of the dental team but let's face it, as assistants, we can get burned out on day-to-day routines.

From trying to control supplies, run on time, clean and sterilize instruments, communicate with patients, keep track of cases coming and going and equipment maintenance and you get a sense of the assistant’s world. We know how you feel, because we are just like you and your not alone!

The ACA provides the ongoing education, resources and support you need, because we want to elevate the entire profession and make YOU a more valuable and empowered team member. 

Shannon Pace Brinker, CDA

The Academy of Chairside Assisting (ACA) is founded by a team of dental assistants as the first organization providing dental assistants with a comprehensive platform encompassing all aspects of their multi-dimentional profession. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey of growth and career fulfillment. We hope you will consider becoming a member and join us on this journey.


General & Students


Various job descriptions for dental assistants define their role as one that helps the dental operator provide more efficient dental treatment by overseeing necessary tasks and effectively becoming the operator’s extra hands. Today, this encompasses much more than technical skills.



Through networking opportunities, support and encouragement from your professional peers, the ACA® can help you achieve your goal of clinical excellence. Receive discounts for dental materials and equipment and much more.

History of Dental Assisting

The dental assistant profession can be traced as far back as 1885 when the wife of New Orleans dentist, Dr. Edmund Kells began assisting him in his practice. Dr. Kells paved the way for many changes in the dental profession including exposure of dental x-rays and a variety of inventions that continue to benefit dentistry today.

As Dr. Kells dental practice grew he hired Malvina Cueria, a teenager as a full time assistant.

During the late 19th century women generally would not pursue dental treatment without permission of their husbands. The addition of two women to Dr. Kells staff brought a flood of women to the practice who were able to seek safe dental treatment in the presence of women.

Not long after, other dentists advertised “Ladies in Attendance” to attract female clients. This was the true beginning of the dental assistant profession.

Times changed, duties developed and grew, and the Ladies and Waiting became today’s dental assistants. Dental assistants are now an essential part of every dental practice.

The ACA is dedicated to creating synergy among dental assisting professionals, and we constantly strive to showcase professional excellence. We hope you will join us on this amazing journey!


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The Academy of Chairside Assisting®

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