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Every profession demands a certain set of skills. So is the case with Dental Assisting. Apart from maintaining dental tools, medicines, and patient’s data, a dental assistant needs to possess a lot of skills to be excellent at what s/he does. Beginning with the most basic yet the most important skill, hygiene friendliness, seems to be obvious. Let’s take a look at the top 10 skills that make a good, professional Dental Assistant.
- Hygiene-friendliness: It’s impossible to imagine a medical professional without self-hygiene, especially a dental assistant, who works closely with dentists and dental hygienists to provide dental care to the patients. More than a skill, it’s a necessity for every dental assistant to perform well in the profession.
- Friendly communication skills: It’s probably the foremost skill that a dental assistant must have because the profession demands regular interaction with the patients to resolve their specific or general queries. A professional dental assistant must possess friendly communication skills in order to create trust in a patient. Once this trust is built, half the cure is done.
- Multi-tasking or Administrative Skills: As a part of the daily job, a dental assistant needs to perform multiple duties such as managing appointments, interaction with the patients and probably resolving their general queries, assisting dentists and dental hygienists during dental treatment with keen attention to detail, and some other clerical work. It requires brilliant administrative skills to manage all these tasks without failing and that makes this skill a must-have for a dental assistant.
- Attention to Detail: While assisting dentists, a dental assistant needs to be aware of the specific rules or procedures and protocols. It allows them to remove general mistakes during dental examinations and surgeries.
- Technical skills or Basic Computer Skills: It won’t be possible to keep technical skills aside while we are talking about the skills required to be a professionally excellent dental assistant. Keeping a track of patients’ data including their appointments and other things required to operate a dental patient is a must-have skill for a dental assistant. Carrying basic computer knowledge including the use of MS Word, MS Excel, and any other basic data management tools is a necessity in this profession. The technical skills also include taking X-rays, dental impressions, and BP readings.
- Relevant Professional Knowledge: A dental assistant needs to have the required knowledge of dental medicine and general dental terminology. It’s an added benefit if s/he holds a degree or diploma or certification in the dental assisting program. The dental industry would prefer someone who has prior knowledge of the industry before s/he starts working.
- Dexterity: Working in a small space using your hands demands utmost attention and that’s the case with dental professionals. A dental assistant has to work in the patient’s mouth using precise dental tools and instruments. S/he needs to be quite good at working with his/her hands while working in such a small space.
- Instruction oriented: Following instructions given by the dentist requires attentiveness and quickness. So, the ability to follow instructions is a great skill to carry by a dental assistant. Listening attentively is an integral part of the skill because only a good listener can follow proper instructions. The skill helps in providing a patient a smooth and comfortable time in the examination chair.
- Dress Professionally: It would be considered as a skill if someone knows how to dress as per his/her profession. A dental assistant needs to dress accordingly because s/he may be the first person a patient meets. To gain a patient’s trust, it’s important for a dental assistant to wear a clean medical outfit along with a surgical mask and gloves.
- Ethics: It’s a skill that every profession requires including the profession of dental assisting. A dental assistant must keep the patient’s information secret which includes a particular dental problem a patient may not want to share with others. Also, providing moral support to such patients is very critical. A dental assistant should be empathetic towards a patient’s smallest dental problems.
And last but not the least, a dental assistant should have love and respect for the profession. S/he shouldn’t be doing just for the sake of doing it because the profession demands accuracy while assisting a dentist.