What does it take to be an effective dental assistant?

We’ve heard that effective dental assistants are always striving to be the best. We also know that you’re passionate about the profession and can be perfectionists when it comes to your work. You routinely strive to stand out as valuable dental team employees, by going the extra mile for the sake of your patients and the practice.

Effective dental assistants do this by gaining experience chairside and in the dental office. They also seek out learning opportunities and continuing dental education. Many (38,000-plus!) dental assistants even have earned and maintained DANB certification to demonstrate their knowledge to the dentist.

The DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), recently commissioned a new research study, the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice, which showed that effective dental assistants have certain traits in common.

What are the 3 specific traits dentists and dental office managers say they especially value in an effective dental assistant? We list them here.


1. You Can “Read Minds”

The research shows that 98% of dentists and dental office managers agree or strongly agree that an effective dental assistant anticipates the dentist’s needs without the exchange of words.

“Good mind readers make excellent dental assistants,” agrees Heather M.


2. You’re Always a Step Ahead
 

According to the research, 99% of dentists and dental office managers agree or strongly agree that a dental assistant should ensure all the instruments and supplies are ready in case the dentist needs them during a procedure.

“I look at myself as almost like an air-flight controller, anticipating everything always before it happens, keeping the office flowing smoothly,” says Susan T.


3. You Do It Right the First Time

The research also found that 96% of dentists and dental office managers agree or strongly agree that an effective dental assistant does it right the first time, minimizing the need to rework.

“I never do things halfway or cut corners,” says Izzy M. “I always do my best and make sure it is perfect!”


Learn More

This post is part of a series highlighting the DALE Foundation’s latest research on the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice. To learn more, read the other posts or visit the DALE Foundation’s website.

Other posts in the series:

Also, learn more about the research: