Dental Assistants Help People Smile

HealthcareJuly 30, 2013

It takes more than just knowing the names of dental instruments and equipment to be a dental assistant. What about listening and communicating? Believe it or not, both interpersonal and technical skills are needed as a dental assistant. 

First, dental assistants must be detail-oriented because they must follow specific procedures and protocols to help dentists treat patients and be aware of what practices they are allowed to do in the state where they work. In addition, organization skills help the assistant have the correct tools in place for a dentist or dental hygienist to use when treating a patient.

Working as a dental assistant also requires becoming an active listener. They need to follow directions from a dentist or dental hygienist in order to effectively help treat patients and perform tasks such as taking an x-ray. Not only must dental assistants actively listen but they must also interact and communicate well with others. With strong interpersonal skills, the dental assistant can help the patient feel more at ease during painful or stressful procedures. Prospective students will be pleased to learn that job outlook for dental assistants is very positive.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is expected to grow 31% through 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Dental assistants are essential to dentists because it allows them to see more patients.  (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition) “Students at Fortis College in Landover are carefully trained and taught to excel in their future career as a dental assistant,” stated Campus President Donald McMullen. “We help improve their current repertoire of skills as well as provide the necessary tools to expand and obtain new ones.” 

For individuals who enjoy working with people and helping them smile, dental assisting may be the right career path to follow. Those who wish to learn more about dental programs at Fortis across the USA may visit  Programs vary by campus.

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