It takes much more than the ability to perform basic procedures and to work well with patients in order to make a good dental assistant. There are also certain abilities required for success, including excellent communication skills, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and knowledge of many different aspects of dentistry.
This article provides an overview of 8 important workplace skills:
1. Communication Skills
To be good dental assistants, they need to be able to communicate well with patients, staff members, and office managers. They should be friendly and able to answer questions calmly, patiently, and thoroughly without rushing the patient or becoming impatient. It is also important for dental assistants to be able to communicate well with dentists, especially when asking about a patient’s dental history, pain levels, and other topics.
Dental assistants need to work as part of a dentist’s team in order to ensure that patients have the best experience possible from the time they walk into the office until they leave. They should be able to communicate well with all team members, including chair-side assistants and office managers. Dental assistants who work in teams are usually more successful than those who work alone.
3. Organization Skills
The associate dentist jobs require being organized so that procedures can run smoothly and efficiently. Dental assistants need to have good time management and be able to keep track of all types of patient data and appointment schedules. This ability will ensure that they are never late for appointments and always know where patients should go when they arrive.
4. Detailed Focus
To be good dental assistants, they must have the ability to focus on small details as well as keep an eye on the big picture. For example, it is important to take notes during a patient’s appointment so that they can enter the information into the computer later. In addition, dental assistants should have good vision and be able to take x-rays without difficulty.
In order to excel as dental assistants, they need to be self-motivated. This means being able to manage their time well during the day so that they are not rushing to complete tasks, including entering patient information into the computer, sterilizing equipment, and labeling samples. It also means completing projects before deadlines.
A flexible mindset will allow dental assistants to handle many different types of work. Dental assistants may have to do administrative work one day, sterilize equipment another day, and restock supplies on yet another day. Therefore, the ability to manage many different types of tasks ensures that they are ready for anything that comes their way.
As part of a dental practice team, dental assistants need to take responsibility for their actions to ensure that patients have the best possible experience. They should be honest with patients about what they know and do not know, and take responsibility for learning new skills to better serve their needs.
Patient care is a huge part of being a dental assistant because this is the only way that they can help dentists to provide high-quality care. Dental assistants need to be patient with patients by listening to them, answering their questions, and providing support throughout the appointment.
How to become a good dental assistant?
If you want to become a good dental assistant, it is extremely helpful if you have some related qualifications and/or certifications. However, even with the most impressive of credentials, your chance of employment in an interview process is largely determined by on-the-job performance. You will get to know some important techniques on how to do well during your on-the-job performance.
A few years of related experience can be helpful in getting an interview for a dental assistant position. Every office is different so it’s difficult to know what specific qualifications they are looking for, but most offices prefer hiring someone who has at least some experience. Some places may hire students or new graduates, but it is unlikely that they will receive a full-time position with an Associate Dentist salary and benefits. They may start as a temporary assistant, which would be as a schedule filler for vacations or maternity leaves of the regular staff, but no guarantee of employment after the vacancy is filled.
In most dental offices, you have two basic options: you can assist the dentist in the operatory or you can assist in the back office. Assistants who work in the operatory are generally called Dental Assistants (DA) and assistants who work in the back office are generally called Office Managers (OM). There is some overlap, but they tend to stick with what they do best. Before the patient comes in, Dental Assistants usually answer phones, greet patients and get them comfortable in the reception area.