Learn About 4 Essential Skills Shared By Certified Dental Assistants

Are you wondering whether a dental assisting career is right for you? As a certified intra-oral dental assistant, you’ll be responsible for a number of different tasks and duties within a dental office. Not only do dental assistants provide support for dentists during procedures and surgeries, but they also ensure that clients have the most comfortable experience possible in the chair. Dental assistants prepare clients for upcoming examinations, instruct and educate them about proper oral hygiene practices and ensure that their needs are met. They also take care of administrative duties, such as billing, scheduling appointments and recordkeeping. Lastly, dental assistants possess a strong knowledge of oral sciences, enabling them to take x-rays and provide other necessary services.

As dental assistants require a wide range of knowledge and responsibility, in order to be successful in this role, a few essential skills are necessary. Below, discover four foundational skills that you can build to secure a long and rewarding career as a dental assistant.

1. A Certified Dental Assistant Should Possess Interpersonal Skills

While communication and the ability to interact positively with others is important for almost any career path, it’s especially vital for a certified dental assistant. Dental assistants must be able to communicate with clients in a number of different situations, including welcoming them to the office, explaining the billing or appointment-booking process, providing information about an upcoming procedure, or giving instructions for oral health maintenance. As a dental assistant, you’re likely to encounter clients who are nervous, anxious, special needs or very young in age, making strong interpersonal skills crucial for ensuring these clients feel comfortable and informed.

dental assistant diploma
After earning your dental assistant diploma, it’s important to possess interpersonal skills

2. Organizational Skills

As you’ve probably learned, dental assistants have a wide variety of responsibilities on any given day. Thus, strong organizational skills are essential for success in this role. As a dental assistant, you must be able to multitask, devising a strategy for balancing your duties without neglecting any important tasks. For example, you must be able to keep track of incoming phone calls and emails and schedule appointments, while greeting incoming clients and preparing different rooms for examinations. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment, a career as a dental assistant may be right for you. 

3. Attention to Detail

In addition to being highly organized, it’s important to work on your attention to detail if you’re earning a dental assistant diploma. Dental assistants perform a number of record-keeping duties, including updating, storing and maintaining client records and details, and processing complex payments and insurance information. What’s more, dental assistants are often responsible for sterilizing, storing, and organizing the tools and instruments used during dental examinations and procedures. In order to accurately complete these tasks, a strong attention to detail will be helpful, not only for your concentration but for your ability to keep clients safe and operations running smoothly within a dental practice.

dental assisting training
Dental assistants must be highly attentive to detail

4. Knowledge of Dental Medicine and Current Practices

While building soft skills like communication, organization and attention to detail will help you to go above and beyond in any dental assisting role, you’ll also need a foundational knowledge of dental medicine and procedures. At the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene, you’ll receive training in dental sciences, oral facial sciences, infection control, dental radiography, pharmacology, and more, equipping you with the experience and skills necessary to perform a number of different duties surrounding client care and assistance. If you think this career path is right for you, then start exploring programs at CADH today!

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