Dental assistants wear many hats in the dental office. It sometimes can seem like you do it all! Some may even say you have dental assisting superpowers!

In order to shine while fulfilling all your dental assisting tasks, it’s important for you to bring certain qualities to the dental practice each day. In doing this, you bring value as well.

What are the top 5 qualities that are absolutely critical for dental assistants to have? Dentists and dental office managers weighed in through the Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice research project, which was commissioned by the DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). Here, we highlight what they said. Do you believe you share the qualities listed below?


1. Having Good Patient Care Skills

According to the research, 93% of dentists and dental office managers say it’s “absolutely critical” for dental assistants to have good patient care skills.

“Good patient care is about going beyond expectations, like bringing the patient a cup of coffee or a blanket.”


2. Being a Team Player

Working well with others also rose to the top, with 89% of dentists and dental office managers saying it’s “absolutely critical” for dental assistants to be a team player.

“We look for dental assistants with a helpful attitude — who are focused on what they can do for the team.”


3. Showing a Willingness to Learn

Having an open mind about learning also ranked highly — 81% of dentists and dental office managers say it’s “absolutely critical” for dental assistants to demonstrate a willingness to learn.

“Dental assistants must be kept up-to-date on what is going on and what is new in the profession.”


4. Taking Ownership of Work

Dental assistants should demonstrate that they are accountable for their work. In fact, 79% of dentists and dental office managers say it’s “absolutely critical” for dental assistants to take ownership of their work.

“The strongest dental assistants take ownership of their work and consider the well-being of the practice.”


5. Showing Initiative

Going the extra mile also makes an impression, as 75% of dentists and dental practice managers say it’s “absolutely critical” for dental assistants to show initiative.

“It’s highly important to continue to learn.”


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: