Skills Required for a Certified Dental Assistant Program

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a dental assistant? This rewarding career promises a growth path, competitive salary, and job security. As long as dental clinics are running, there will always be a need for more dental assistants.

Unlike most medical programs that require years of education and experience, dental assistant training is fast and straightforward. You will be applying your training in practical use before you know it.

This article will run you through the skills you may need when pursuing a certified dental assistant program.

Training for Interpersonal Skills

Dental assistants are often the first point of contact for the dentists, staff, and patients. Therefore, you must have outstanding interpersonal skills to be a successful dental assistant. You will interact with patients, office staff, other team members, and dentists.

This means you need to communicate, show empathy and compassion, listen to their problems and offer solutions. Your job is to make the dental experience comfortable for the patient.

For patients, a dental visit can be a very intimidating experience. They will be seated in the dental chair, wearing a face mask and heavy gloves, as a dental assistant performs the oral examination. Being well-mannered and pleasant will make a massive difference to the patient’s dental experience.

The dentist, dental assistants, and staff form a team. For this reason, you must have excellent interpersonal skills and get on well with others. You will have to interact with others during your daily work.

Administrative Skills

As a dental assistant, you will be required to carry out administrative work for the dentist. Dental assistants are usually responsible for scheduling patients, confirming bookings, and making appointments.

You will also have to make sure patients are comfortable in the dental office. This includes making sure the waiting area is clean and tidy, the temperature is set at a comfortable level, and music is playing to relax the patient.

Additionally, your daily tasks will include maintaining and filing patient records, answering the phone, filing insurance claims, and updating the appointment book.

Basic Computer Skills 

There are a lot of administrative tasks involved in your job. To do these tasks efficiently, you need to have good computer skills. As a dental assistant, you will be required to use the computer for many purposes.

Dental offices will expect you to have good computer skills like basic spreadsheets, word processing, and email programs. Many software applications are used for record-keeping and other administrative activities.

You will also be expected to schedule appointments, check and fill out insurance forms, and use the transcription software for recording dental appointments.

Organizational Skills

Like most professions, you will need a degree of organization to be a dental assistant. There are a lot of tasks that need to be done daily, and it could be overwhelming. You will be expected to have strong organizational skills.

Especially in the medical field, the workplace needs to be clean and uncluttered. Tools and supplies require proper arrangement, sterilization, and storage. You will need to organize these items to work efficiently.


In conclusion, a career as a dental assistant is a good choice for someone who is looking for a rewarding career. 

No matter the size of the dental clinic, there is a need for more dental assistants. The proper training and skill set can make a significant difference in the dental assistant role.

Are you looking for a dental assistant school in Schaumburg, IL? Northwest Suburban College offers a convenient dental assistant program that offers real-world experience. Contact us today to learn more! 

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