Many dental assistants agree they work with the best dental teams. In these cases, your colleagues brighten your workdays and your overall professional experience in the dental office.

The best dental teams are ones to envy, but building that cohesiveness and fostering team spirit can be easier said than done. For dental teams to continuously be strong, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be the best teammate they can be. In the dental office, what does it mean to be an outstanding team member? Here, we list some of the top qualities of those who have embraced team spirit.

1. Keep a Positive Attitude

The entire dental team spends a lot of time at the office, so it’s important that the environment be a positive place to work. In this spirit, everyone must maintain a professional, positive attitude, especially when interacting with both colleagues and patients. When persistent negativity, such as complaining and gossip, creeps into the team atmosphere, this can strain team morale, trust and efficiency. Weakened team dynamics also can wreak havoc on the practice’s overall professional image. The patients might notice tension among team members – and be deterred from choosing to come back to your office for care.

In order to put the patients and the team first, it’s essential that everyone respect one another, be compassionate, and maintain a sense of humor whenever possible.

“I see every day how much it makes a difference when I’m positive and have a smile on my face,” shares Elizabeth C. “Positivity is such a great motivational tool for those around you.”

2. Pitch in and Work Together

The dental office can be a busy place. Sometimes, dental assistants may feel as if they’re consistently shouldering heavy workloads. After all, a typical day in the dental office can include a hectic schedule to maintain, a plethora of patients to seat and tend to, and many procedures to assist with. Some dental assistants even feel they don’t have time to take a break! While dental assistants are typically organized and skilled at juggling it all, feeling like you’re overextended can test even the most efficient, organized and dedicated teams.

This is why it’s important that everyone pitches in to share the workload. It’s the sign of a tight-knit team when members strive to help one another out. Teams that work well together succeed together!

“I like to help out my coworkers by getting something done for them for the next day, so that it is already set for them,” says Faith R., CDA. “This way, we begin and end the day on a good note.”

3. Communicate with the Team

The ideal dental office is one where everyone feels valued and appreciated. Unfortunately, we’ve heard that this isn’t always the case. Some dental assistants have reported feeling misunderstood by their teammates – some even say the dentist may not realize all that they do. This can lead to feelings of frustration, resentment and tension among the team – even if it just boils down to not knowing what everyone is working on.

One possible solution to keep the lines of communication open is having regular meetings or “huddles.” This way, you’ll come together to address any challenges you may be facing. Talking as a team is often the first step toward being able to fully understand and appreciate one another’s roles. Meetings help ensure that everyone has the tools and support they need in order to succeed.

“Teamwork is all about communication, and you can’t have that if you don’t have a team that trusts each other and works well together, like a family,” shares Jackilyn H., COA.

4. Extend Words of Encouragement

When it comes to communication, it’s imperative that teammates always strive to uplift one another. Positive words of encouragement and gratitude can be especially helpful on stressful days in the dental office, which can happen to everyone. Providing positive feedback makes you feel good, too! Through thick and thin, dental teammates have each other’s backs. That’s team spirit!

“My office makes me feel very important and loved every single day. I also have the best boss. She thanks me and tells me she appreciates me often,” says Donna T.

What do you believe are the qualities of a great dental team?

Share your thoughts!