Dental assistants serve a vital function in the modern dental office. They often interact directly with patients, taking impressions, x-rays and digital images. They also assist the dentist chairside in all procedures ranging from oral surgery, to crowns and bridges, to Orthodontia. Career opportunities in dental assisting are expected to grow at a much faster than average rate through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you think a career as a dental assistant might be right for you, here are 5 traits that could help ensure your success in dental assisting:
Well-organized: As a dental assistant you will need to be well organized , as you could have multiple responsibilities including patient relations, infection control, radiation safety, technology, and conforming to HIPPA, and OSHA regulations. You’ll escort patients to procedures, prepare materials, and you might be called upon to answer phones and help out with inventory and supplies. As a dental assistant, you’re a part of the team, and being well-organized helps that team run smoothly and successfully.
Great people skills: Not everyone likes going to the dentist. In fact, some people are actually quite nervous about it. That’s why it’s so important for you to be a calm and reassuring presence for the patients who come into the dental practice. Your ability to interact well with patients, staff and other dental professionals can be the difference between you becoming a pretty good dental assistant and a great one!
Attention to detail: A good dental assisting program will teach you how to sterilize and prepare instruments, assist chair side, take and process x-rays, keep patient dental records and much more. Good attention to details will help you to accomplish all these tasks more easily. Patient safety can be ensured by your detail-oriented and thorough work effort.
Communication skills: As a dental assistant, you’ll meet and interact with lots of different people. Your ability to effectively communicate with dentists, dental staff, and patients and their families can improve the quality of care your office provides. You can tell patients what to expect while at the dentist, serve as liaison between patient and dentist and instruct patients on good oral hygiene. That is, if you have great communication skills!
Professionalism: Everything you do as a dental assistant reflects on the practice you work at and the dental assisting profession as a whole. If you understand the importance of showing up on time, dressed appropriately and ready to work with a good attitude, you’re doing yourself and your patients a great service.
If you think you have what it takes to be a good dental assistant, why not explore dental assisting training at Porter and Chester Institute? Our Dental Assisting program is offered at all nine Porter and Chester Institute campuses in Connecticut and Massachusetts.