In a casual conversation 32 years ago, Threasa Liddell asked a few dental assistants and hygienists what they enjoyed about their profession. During Dental Assistants Recognition Week, Liddell reflects on the moment that led her to a fulfilling career path in dentistry and the ones ahead of her as president of theMichigan Dental Assistants Association.

“I was playing softball with a few dental hygienists and assistants, and asked: “What is it about dentistry that makes you so happy?” said Liddell, who in 2016 earned the Lucy Hobbs Project Trailblazer Award in her role as a Benco Dental Territory Representative for the Midwest Region.

Answers those dental professionals shared with her 32 years ago — from easing the age-old fears of going to the dentist to life-long friendships — prompted Liddell toimmediately begin taking classes and later earn her CDA certification.

It was obvious to Liddell back then that there was something special about this tight-knit community, and three decades-plus of personal experience reaffirmed that concept. From there, her experiences were just as described at that softball game. Liddell says she has “found some of my best friends in dentistry.”

“I’m lucky to work with so many amazing dental assistants who are dedicated to their profession and eager to help guide new dental assistants through an extremely rewarding career in dentistry.”

Threasa Liddell,president of theMichigan Dental Assistants Association

What are Threasa Liddell’s goals as president of the Michigan Dental Assistants Association?

As president of the Michigan Dental Assistants Association, Liddell hopes to “to bring all the MDAA districts together, recruit new members, and promote in-person continuing education programs,” she said.

Experience is on her side. During her 16 years as a Territory Rep for Benco Dental in the Midwest Region she has partnered with a dental laboratory near her Novi, Michigan, headquarters for an annual Women in Dentistry symposium that attracts some 300 attendees. And, in 2016, she coordinated with the local dental society to host events at which female doctors celebrated the life and achievements of Dr. Lucy Hobbs, who in 1866 became the first woman to earn a dental degree in the U.S.

In every role — Certified Dental Assistant, Territory Rep, Trailblazer — Liddell is passionate about her work and the community it has given her.

Dental Assistants often represent dental practices and can be the first person patients meet when they arrive at the office and are vital to the success of any given dental practice. They ensure the visits run smoothly, and most importantly make patients feel at ease for their appointments.

During Dental Assistants Recognition Week nominate an inspiring Dental Assistant for a Lucy Hobbs Project Award. Visit this link: andominate in one of six award categories.Deadline is August 1, 2022 for the awards presented by Benco Dental. The Project is named in tribute to the first woman in the U.S. to earn a dental degree.

Know an inspiring Dental Assistant? Nominate them for a Lucy Hobbs Project Award.

Deadline is August 1, 2022 for the awards presented by Benco Dental.

The Lucy Hobbs Project, powered by Benco Dental for more than a decade, empowers women in the profession to drive change and deliver results through networking, innovation and giving back. The Project is named in tribute to the first woman in the U.S. to earn a dental degree.


  1. Visit this link:
  2. Nominate in one of these six award categories:

Woman to Watch: An up-and-coming leader who utilizes her position to create positive change in the industry.

Industry Icon: A trailblazer who is consistently recognized and admired for her work in the dental industry.

Mentor: An advisor who recognizes the importance of supporting, educating and encouraging others.

Innovator: A groundbreaker who demonstrates a willingness to implement new technologies and business processes without fear of potential failure.

Humanitarian: An altruist who works tirelessly for a charity or cause that benefits the well-being of others.

Clinical Expert: A skillful practitioner who embraces advancements and adeptly integrates them into patient care.

Want to learn more?

Meet past recipients of the project’s annual awards: HERE.