5 Traits to look for when Hiring a Dental Assistant

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traits that make a great dental assistantLooking for one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country? Here’s a hint… if you’re a dentist, you have them working in your practice right now. Dental assistants are in high demand, and that shows no sign of slowing down according to data compiled by the United States Department of Labor. Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that, from 2016 to 2026, employment of dental assistants was projected to grow by 19 percent. This is going to make for a fiercely competitive job market for dental assistants. This is a good thing for you as a dentist because you can be more selective in choosing who you want to join your team. Bryant Consultants wants to help, so we came up with this list of five traits to look for when hiring a dental assistant.

  1. They have a good work ethic

The daily pace in a busy dental office can seem frantic. There’s always going to be something that needs to be done, and usually, there are not enough people working on getting everything done. Look for a dental assistant who is willing to dive in and help when they’ve completed their specific individual duties. That may mean helping a colleague, or performing general tasks around the practice like talking with patients, cleaning, or sterilizing equipment.

  1. They are on board with the mission of your practice

There’s an art to this, but a great dental assistant will use their expertise to identify other services you offer that seem like a good fit and then offer those treatments and procedures to your patients. This can be tricky, as you don’t want to come off pushy or overwhelming like you’re trying to pressure patients or sell something. This is why dental assistants need to be diplomatic and pick their moments. For example, if a patient is complaining about the dingy appearance of their teeth, your dental assistant can be trained to make helpful suggestions, such as recommending a whitening treatment.

  1. They volunteer in their community

The best employees also give back to their community. Volunteering also gives people a sense of satisfaction and makes them feel more fulfilled in both their personal and professional lives. Find a dental assistant who values volunteering within their community or beyond,  and you’ll find an individual who has a true passion for helping others.

  1. They have effective communication skills

Being a good dental assistant is about much more than taking X-rays or helping you complete procedures. A truly great dental assistant also develops a rapport with your patients: calming nervous patients before or during a procedure, allowing you to work in a calm environment. Experienced dental assistants can identify non-verbal cues that a patient is uncomfortable or worried, such as facial expressions. Remember that, for your patients, showing compassion and building bonds mean as much as providing high-quality dental care.

  1. They are eager to learn

You know how quickly the field of dentistry evolves. That’s why, as a dentist, you work to keep pace by pursuing continuing education. Your dental assistants should pursue similar educational opportunities beyond the required amount each year. Fulfilling the dental board’s requirement is one thing, but going above and beyond to learn new techniques, procedures, and technologies show that they have a go-getter approach. Having an eagerness to learn is a great quality for a dental assistant or any member of your team for that matter.

Dental Assistant Coaching

You pour your heart and soul into your practice. You want the members of your team to have that same passion, and be the best they can be. At Bryant Consultants, we offer specific training geared for dental assistants to enhance their skills: both technically assisting you when a patient is in the chair and administratively to keep your practice running like a well-oiled machine. Our services can help you refine your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your business. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799. We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us. We will even come to you!

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