Dental assistants work in close liaison with dentists to prepare and treat patients. During examinations and procedures, dental assistants may take X-rays, perform office management tasks, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene and care. The work of a dental assistant is dynamic and hands-on. They are responsible for ensuring the comfort and care of the patient, assisting with dental work, and maintaining the operational efficiency of the whole practice.
As they perform a variety of tasks, it’s important to develop a broad and applicable skill set–from technical abilities to customer service skills. With the right skills to complement your practical training, you’ll be ready to take up positions in private dental offices, university clinics, dental supply companies, public health centres, educational institutions, and more! Let’s take a closer look at some key skills you’ll need for this type of work.
1. Technical Skills from Dental Assistant School
Although dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists, they must have a strong foundation in dental medicine in order to assist in both routine practices and complex dental procedures. Nowadays, most employers demand that dental assistants hold an official qualification along with relevant skills and extensive practical training.
Dental assistant school at Medix College focuses on field-related skills and knowledge–with courses covering: general dental sciences, clinical dental assisting, preventive dental procedures, pharmacology, and emergencies. With professional training, graduates will be able to perform the technical duties of a dental assistant, including: taking and developing x-rays, sterilizing dental materials and instruments, and preparing exam rooms.
2. Some Administrative Skills Are Needed
Dental assistants are partly responsible for completing administrative tasks to ensure the efficiency and productivity of a dental practice. These tasks may include answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, and ordering supplies. This aspect of the job is much the same as other office roles, in which communication and basic computer skills are required.
In the case of a dental office, strong time management and organization skills are essential–along with a working knowledge of common medical records systems and technology. Students in dental assistant college will hone their administrative skills in the context of a dental practice–with programs focusing on reception and clerical duties, and scheduling and invoicing dental exams.
3. Practice Attention to Detail
To ensure patient safety and comfort in a dental office, attention to detail is an important skill. A detail-oriented person will be able to concentrate on multiple tasks to ensure they are completed accurately and in accordance with strict protocols. When it comes to administrative duties, attention to detail will help dental assistants to record and maintain patient information with precision. In the exam room, a dental assistant should pay close attention to their patient to identify whether they are nervous or in pain. By developing a good eye, you can ensure that patients have a comfortable, efficient, and positive experience at a dental practice.
4. Work on Building Strong Communication Skills
Dental assistants are often one of the first points of contact for a patient during their appointment. They may be responsible for taking a patient’s medical history, breaking down complex procedures, and advising patients on proper oral care. Strong communication skills in these duties can help dental assistants to develop a positive and productive rapport with patients–gathering important information and evaluating their level of comfort. Not to mention, dental assistants also work in close collaboration with other dental professionals. The ability to follow instructions, communicate information, and provide feedback will prove to be a valuable asset when working in a professional team. With the relevant skill set, you can gain the trust of both your patients and your fellow co-workers.
Are you ready to start your intraoral dental assistant training?
Contact Medix College to learn more about our program!