Dental assistants are a vital part of a successful dentist’s office, as they complete many administrative and patient-focused tasks throughout each day.
They keep the dental office running smoothly and efficiently, and help to ensure that the patients are receiving the best quality care possible.
Are you interested in becoming a dental assistant?
Whether you are looking for your first job in the dental industry or are looking for a new opportunity, it is important to know what skills dental assistants need to have, and what skills should be listed on their resume.
Here you will learn which skills are most essential for dental assistants to have, and which ones you should list on your resume.
What Does a Dental Assistant Do?
Before we start discussing what skills you should list on your dental assistant resume, it is important that you know exactly what dental assistants do on the job on a daily basis.
Dental assistants have a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. Some are administrative jobs, while others are patient-focused.
Here are some examples of administrative dental assistant tasks:
- Scheduling patient appointments
- Handling payments and billing
- Filing paperwork
- Keeping patients’ dental records
- Cleaning and sterilizing dental tools and instruments
- Answering the telephone
Here are some examples of patient-focused dental assistant tasks:
- Greeting patients when they walk in the dental office
- Teaching patients about proper oral hygiene
- Preparing patients for treatments and procedures
- Handling dentists instruments and tools during procedures
- Taking and developing x-rays
Dental Assistant Resume Skills List
Now that you know what a dental assistant does on a day to day basis, it is time to learn about what skills are needed on a dental assistant resume.
Here are 5 skills needed for a dental assistant resume:
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Detail Oriented
1. Communication Skills
Communication skills are extremely important for a dental assistant to have.
Dental assistants must be in constant communication with the dentist, patients, and other dental staff members.
You have to be able to discuss procedures and treatments with the dentists and with the patients, so that you can provide the best care for the patients.
Having a full understanding of the patients’ needs and what can be done to help them reach a healthy and beautiful smile is crucial.
Dental assistants act as a liaison between patients and dental staff members, so you have to be able to communicate effectively.
Organization is crucial when you are a dental assistant, because you will have to be prepared for changing circumstances all the time.
Since you will be doing a lot of administrative tasks within the office, you will need to keep organized so that you know where everything is at all times.
You will have to keep tools, instruments, equipment, and the dental office clean and organized. You need to know where everything is located, especially when treatments and procedures happen and you need to grab materials for it.
When it comes to administrative work, you will need to keep your desk space and your computer clean and organized as well for maximum efficiency while handling patient files, documents, schedules, insurances, and billing.
3. Interpersonal Skills
Working with other people is a huge part of a dental assistant role, which is why it is important to have interpersonal skills.
With this being said, you need to be able to get along well with all dental office team members, and with patients.
There can be many challenges or difficulties that you may face within the dental office, so it is important that you can be aware of and sensitive to other people’s thoughts and emotions.
You need to be able to think critically while on the job and to have good conflict resolution during difficult situations.
This will allow the dental office to run smoothly and efficiently, and will allow patients to feel comfortable during their appointments.
To have good interpersonal skills you have to have good communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as good listening skills.
4. Detail Oriented
Dental assistants need to be detail oriented during their administrative and patient-focused roles and responsibilities.
You will be following many protocols and procedures while keeping things sanitized and by assisting with treatments, so that they run smoothly.
You will also need to be detail oriented when handling billing, scheduling, and records, so that you are recording everything properly and thoroughly for future reference.
Dental assistants who are detail oriented are able to fix issues that happen and resolve conflicts, because they know what needs to be done to complete the task properly and to provide the best care to patients.
Compassion is extremely important for dental assistants to have.
A large percentage of patients are anxious or nervous about going to a dentist appointment, and it is your job as part of the dental office staff to calm their nerves and ensure that they have a smooth experience.
It is crucial that you are aware of these thoughts and emotions, and that you treat each patient with kindness and compassion to help them through it.
You want patients to feel calm and comfortable while at their appointments, so that they can get the healthy and beautiful smile that they desire.