Skills You’ll Gain from a Certified Dental Assistant Program

A dental assistant is someone who helps the dentist with procedures and also helps take care of patients. They need to have integrity, be responsible, and be dedicated to learning more about their field. Dental assistants typically learn their techniques through studying and also receive on-the-job training. 

They must have good people skills and work well under pressure to succeed in this role. Here are several essential skills you’ll gain from a certified dental assistant program:

Administrative Skills

Dental assistants work mostly on office tasks, such as scheduling appointments, handling patients’ files, and answering phones. Being detail-oriented, having good time management skills, and understanding basic medical file systems and technology are also important.

Basic Computer Knowledge

To be a successful dental assistant, it is essential to have knowledge of computers and be able to type at an average speed. This will come in handy when you are responsible for maintaining patient records, transcribing notes, or filing insurance claims.


A dental assistant’s job is mainly to support the dentist. This includes sterilizing the dental office, keeping it tidy, and following the dentist’s protocols. They also must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA’s) patient information privacy rules and ensure all information is confidential.

Listening Skills

As a dental assistant, you must be prepared to listen to patients and other healthcare employees. You will need to follow a dental hygienist’s or dentist’s directions to help treat patients and perform tasks like X-ray processing. To be an effective listener, you must face the patient and maintain eye contact. You should also provide regular feedback to understand better what the patient or dentist is speaking about.


The dental assistant must adapt to the dentist’s office’s fast-paced and constantly changing environment. They must be organized and display excellent time management skills to succeed since part of their job is ensuring that all dental materials and equipment are clean and in the right place. This is important for keeping the dental office clean and organized, including ensuring that all surfaces are free of debris, that instruments are properly sterilized, and that any hazardous materials are disposed of properly, all of which are taught in a certified dental assistant program.

Social Skills

As a dental assistant, you will communicate with patients and ensure they understand what to expect during their appointment. You must have excellent communication skills and be responsible for connecting the patient and the dentist.

In a dental office, it is vital to communicate effectively with the dental team and patients. This means being able to convey ideas clearly and concisely, as well as being able to listen attentively. Good communication skills are essential to maintain a smooth workflow and provide quality patient care.

A great dental assistant can put patients at ease and make them feel comfortable during their appointment. If a patient feels nervous about the dental procedure, it can be helpful to have an assistant who can provide reassurance and explain the process clearly and concisely.

In Closing

Being a dental assistant combines technical expertise with social skills to ensure your patients have a positive experience at the office. Be sure to ask schools or career training providers if learning the above skills is part of their curriculum.

Or, You Could Just Enroll at Northwest Suburban College

Our certified dental assistant program provides technical and meaningful training to further your healthcare career. Get more answers by visiting our website right now!

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