6 Skills You Need to Be Successful in Dental Assisting

From administrative and reception duties to patient care, dental assistants have a range of responsibilities at the clinic. Aside from oral treatments and procedures such as dental bonding, bridges, implants, and more, there are specific sets of skills you need to learn in order to become an effective and efficient dental assistant and thrive in the health industry.

Educational Requirements

Formal education is not needed for working as a dental assistant. There are dental assistants in the field with a high school diploma and on-the-job training. However, there are degree programs and certificates available in this field that provide a more elaborate and comprehensive career education. These programs typically last one to two years, focusing on technical education through classroom and clinical instructions. There are vocational schools and community colleges that have a two-year associate’s degree dental assisting programs that combine general education and technical training on procedures such as tooth extraction, root canal, dental bonding, and more. Additionally, some states require the necessary certification or license before working as a dental assistant.

Licensure and Certification

In some states, dental assistants must acquire registration or licensure to practice the trade. The state implements the licensure regulations for this profession; these regulations vary by state. In general, licensure requires passing an accredited postsecondary program and a written and practical exam. To maintain the licensure, dental assistants must obtain continuing education at intervals specified by the state. As for certification, the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA®) certification offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is recognized and required by 38 states. The qualifications for the CDA®  are as follows:

  • A graduate from an accredited dental assisting/hygiene program
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Have held DANB (CDA®) certification or have graduated from a DDS or DMD program from an accredited educational institution

Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an 18% increase of employment for dental assistants until 2024. They added that an annual median salary for the dental assistant position in 2018 is $36,458. If you’re deciding a profession as a dental assistant, consider the required training, job duties, and job growth. First and foremost, make sure to check your state’s license and certification regulations.

Before you take on a dental assisting education program, take a look at these seven skills you need to develop.

How to communicate

All dental professionals must know how to be effective communicators. Since dental assistants spend a lot of time interacting with fellow staff members, patients, visitors, and vendors, communication lines must always be open and transparent.

How to clean and sterilize

All oral health procedures including dental surgery, dental bonding, filling, tooth extraction, and more, require meticulous cleaning and sterilization of all equipment, tools, and work area. Dental assistants must learn how to assist in carrying out a procedure or treatment properly.

How to do administration and marketing duties

Another responsibility of dental assistants is to ensure the organization and cleanliness of the office. From scheduling appointments to answering phone calls, social media engagement to other administration and marketing duties, dental assisting is a well-rounded position.

How to apply first aid

Anyone working in the health industry should know how to apply first aid correctly – and dental assistants are no exception. An excellent dental assistant must possess necessary life support skills and how efficiently perform them.

Important Link

As a dental assistant, you are the critical bridge and important link between the dentist and his or her client. Therefore, a dental assistant must be professional at all times. The patients’ comfort is one of the main considerations when dental assisting. Moreover, accurately checking medical history and using non-verbal communication with the dentist during a procedure, so the patient is calm and comfortable are signs of a useful dental assistant. You will learn all these skills and more during your training and hands-on learning.

Top Tips for Finding an Effective Family Medicine Practice

Contrary to belief, family doctors still offering many services similar to their predecessors; however, home visits are no longer available except in emergency situations. While many people tend to visit general practitioners at a general medical practice, it is seen that many health insurance companies now require one is registered with a family doctor to be referred to specialists when seeking specialized health care. Unfortunately, these types of physicians are difficult to find and limited in the types of injuries they can treat. This article will provide some tips on how to find an effective family medicine practice.

excited child in doctors office

1. Ensures Overall Health

The ideal family doctor is one who operates in a family medicine practice ensuring your overall health. Unlike specialist physicians who treat certain conditions, the family doctor will receive specialized training to treat the whole body. This type of professional will take care of patients of various ages and suffering from different conditions. Furthermore, the treatment will involve both physical and psychological elements.

2. Updated Education and Training

In order to become a family doctor, it is necessary to undergo an addition three years training in a family medical practice treating patients. The real-life training may be in a hospital, medical clinic or a home. While these doctors do not specialize in a particular field of medicine, they must remain up to date with the latest developments in general medical practice to ensure they are aware of new medical techniques. It is also necessary that family doctors indicate their awareness of training by undergoing re-certification more regularly than another other type of physician.

3. Good Primary and Preventative Care

While you may not have any health difficulties, it is recommended you register with a family medicine practice. This is not only to meet requirements of medical insurance providers; but also to act as a precaution for health care. Family doctors receive training in both primary and preventative care, meaning they are able to advise on both the presenting condition and any prevention of problems to help overcome future health issues. This type of care can be highly beneficial in helping you remain healthy as long as possible, potentially reducing the cost of health care.

4. Testimonials and Basic Information

Locating the ideal family doctor can be a very complicated and challenging task, despite the seemingly simplistic nature.

doctor going over checklist

When searching for a family doctor, it is recommended that you begin the search by contacting family and friends to ask for referrals. Once referrals have been obtained, it would be useful to do some research before registering with the doctor looking at testimonials of service, working hours, system of payment accepted, and if the practice operates with specialists. It is important to remember that not all family medicine practices are able to register new patients; therefore, it is necessary to have several options at hand.

5. Comfort With the Doctor

Good family doctors should be able to answer medical questions easily and in a manner that makes it simple to understand. The physician should be able to make you feel comfortable in the doctor-patient relationship and must be patient enough to answer all questions, even if you are repeating yourself. If there is a feeling of discomfort during the initial consultation, it would be best to trust your instinct and seek out a different family doctor.

6. The Doctor’s Age

One factor that many people do not take into account when searching for a medical doctor is the issue of the doctor’s age. The majority of people consider older physician’s to be the more professional and acceptable option; however, this is not always true and there are instances where a younger professional would be more suitable if available. The rule of thumb is that the doctor should be one generation above the patient. This ensures the professional has the correct knowledge and is aware of the culture of the patient.

Final Words on the Matter

Finding a doctor is essential to maintain one’s health, and finding a family doctor will be highly beneficial for the family’s overall health. By using the information above you can make an informed decision on how to find the ideal family doctor for your family’s needs.