5 Qualities of a Great Dental Assistant

Professional qualities that can help make you a great Dental Assistant!

Are you looking for a new career that is fun and exciting? Perhaps you want a job where you can interact with patients and feel crucial to a team.

If you’re considering enrollment in a career training program, then consider a career as a dental assistant. Dental assistants are the healthcare professionals who assist dentists before, during, and after dental procedures. They help maintain medical records, schedule patient appointments, process x-rays, and educate patients on proper oral hygiene. They are responsible for the cleanliness of an exam room and the sanitation of dental instruments.

Don’t worry if you believe you don’t possess the qualities needed for the job right now. When you enter a dental assistant training program, you can develop the professional skills you need with a technical education that includes dental anatomy and terminology.

If you’re wondering what qualities you’ll need to have to become a dental assistant, The American College of Medical Careers offers a short guide to the traits you’ll need to be a successful dental assistant.

Quality #1: Cleanliness!

Cleanliness is a necessary trait of all professionals and healthcare workers. In a dental assistant position, you will be working with the oral health of patients every day. You will sterilize dental instruments, prepare and throw away dental bibs and floss, and prepare dental anesthetics for your patients. In some states, dental assistants are allowed to perform coronal polishing, sealant applications, fluoride application, and topical anesthetics. Dental assistants will need to ensure all ingredients are clean and stored in appropriate places to ensure their patients’ safety. You will also have to maintain and clean a dental exam room throughout the day and before you leave. Staying clean will help the reputation of the dental facility you work in and the safety of your patients.

Quality #2: Interpersonal skills

Dental assistants need to have strong interpersonal skills because they will be assisting patients each day on the job. They will need to talk to patients to schedule appointments, record medical histories, and update billing information. Frequently, dental assistants will also need to educate patients on proper dental care and let them know what will occur during their procedures. They will also need to offer advice and reassurance to patients who are nervous about undergoing dental procedures or check-ups. Patients will feel more comfortable with a sociable dental assistant.

Quality #3: Team player

Dental assistants work as part of a dental team in an office. Sometimes they are required to help dental hygienists and dentists during routine check-ups or procedures. They need to prepare and clean exam rooms for their staff and communicate efficiently with them. Communicating clearly with coworkers, staying on top of your duties, and preparing ahead of time will help keep the dental office running smoothly. If you have spare time, see if the dental hygienists or doctors need any help. Contributing to teamwork and being respectful of your coworkers can make your work place a happy one!

Quality #4: Anticipate needs

During dental procedures, dental hygienists and doctors will need your assistance. A great dental assistant needs to be prepared for the procedure and can anticipate when certain supplies may be needed. Your dental assistant training program will give you the education and externship experience you need to be able to anticipate what instruments will be needed next during a procedure. Dental assistants should also be good at anticipating other needs during the day, like when it’s time to call a patient back to the exam room, when it’s time to straighten up supplies, and when it’s time to lend a hand to team members.

Quality #5: Well-organized

Strong organization skills are necessary to become a dental assistant. You will have to answer phones, schedule patients, and maintain patient records and billing information. Since you’ll be juggling both administrative and clinical responsibilities, you will have to keep all paperwork, records, and dental supplies in the correct areas. Keep your desk, files, and dental supplies neatly stacked. If you run out of supplies, you are the one responsible for ordering more.

If you want to develop these skills, then consider applying to the dental assistant training program at ACMC. Our training program helps you develop and practice the technical, clinical, and professional skills that you need to become a successful dental assistant. In a short time, you could be ready for this exciting career path!


ACMC offers career-focused advice for students in our weekly blog. If you’re interested in learning more about our other medical training programs then contact us today or schedule a tour at our Orlando, FL campus.