Dental assistants serve as a dentist’s support and are important members of the oral care team. Graduates of dental assistant programs are in demand in Canada, with increasing employment opportunities available in private clinics, hospitals, public health services and even dental sales companies.
Becoming a dental assistant is a rewarding career choice that can offer you the diversity of working directly with patients and helping to organize the daily operations of the facility in which you work.
Read on to learn more about what it takes to succeed as a dental assistant and determine if this career is a good fit for you!
Dental Assistants are Detail Oriented
When working in a dental office, many of the responsibilities that dental assistants take on require excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. On a daily basis, dental assistants perform tasks such as:
- Maintaining dental supplies inventory by checking stock, anticipating needs, placing orders for supplies and verifying receipt of supplies
- Making sure all dental equipment is in good working order and that all dental instruments are properly cleaned and sanitized
- Maintaining a safe and clean working environment
- Preparing treatment room for patients
- Documenting dental care services and patient records
Dental assistant school covers the foundations of dental practice management to provide the organizational and administrative skills you’ll need to become an asset to any dental office.
Dental Assistants are Empathetic Communicators
When you become a certified dental assistant and start work at a clinic, you will be the first person a patient encounters when they enter the reception area or treatment room. Maintaining a pleasant, welcoming demeanor while you prepare patients for an examination or procedure will help to sooth their nerves and facilitate a successful visit.
Even though most dental procedures aren’t painful, many patients experience some level of stress when visiting the dentist. Dental anxiety is common and can range from feeling “a little nervous” to experiencing paralyzing terror! In response to this, most dental assistant training programs offer communications courses to help calm patients before and during their visits.
Dental assistants who are able to remain calm, listen, and answer patient’s questions in an empathetic way will help their practice build a loyal patient base.
Dental Assistants are Team Players
Dental assistants work with a wide variety of colleagues and patients. In a private dental office, they may only work with one dentist, but will certainly interact with receptionists, dental supplies distributors, walk-ins and regulars. Some dental assistants work in large clinics and may support several dentists.
If youa��re a team player and considerate collaborator, you will do well in a dental assistant career where teamwork is essential for completing administrative tasks as well as for building rapport with patients and colleagues.
Dental Assistants Love to Learn
When working closely with dentists and patients, dental assistants will find themselves constantly learning new things. Recent graduates of a dental assistant program, for example, may find employment working alongside a dentist with over 20 years experience. This will open up opportunities to absorb new concepts and techniques, and continuously improve work performance.
The dental assistant who remains open to new ideas, and truly loves to learn will become an enormous asset to his or her employer – and no doubt, a favorite among regular patients.
What else do you think it takes to be a successful dental assistant?