We often hear dental assistants talk about the unique qualities that make dental assisting so one-of-a-kind. Here are just a few ways that you might know you’re a dental assistant, or that you’re on your way to becoming one.
You notice people’s teeth first.
Dental assistants are often fascinated by teeth — it’s no wonder they end up in their line of work. Lauren H., CDA, says, “After wearing braces I constantly would stare at people’s teeth instead of their eyes when talking to them.”
Helping people is second nature to you.
Whether calming a nervous patient or teaching a child to brush correctly, dental assistants are always helping people and loving it. Amy N., CDA, says, “I have a deep compassion for people and can relate to their fears because of my past experiences. Even if I wasn’t a dental assistant I know I would still serve in some capacity in which I helped people.”
You are the most organized person you know.
Dental assistants wear many hats and have many jobs throughout the day — it’s important to stay organized and on top of everything. According to Charlene M., CDA, dental assistants have many skills: “We are somewhere between a surgeon and a waitress, a master of time management, the definition of poised and professional, not a multitasker but master of tasking.”
As a child, the dentist’s office was actually fun.
Dental assistants often talk about how interesting and fun they found the dentist when they were growing up — interesting enough to make appointments actually fun, even from an early age. Lillian S., CDA, says, “I loved watching my personal family dentist and his assistant working together. They were always pleasant and enjoyed sharing with me whatever they were doing.”
Nothing grosses you out.
From suctioning to sterilizing, dental assistants see it all and aren’t phased by any of it. “Whatever you do, treat people the way you’d want to be treated if you were a patient,” says Patty L., CDA. The ability to take it all in stride out goes a long way toward empathizing with patients.
How do you know you’re a dental assistant? Tell us in the comments.