Employment for dentists is projected to grow by 19% from 2016 to 2026, representing a faster rate than most other occupations. In other words, there is no better time to become a dentist (if you’re not one already), as the number of dental opportunities is set to skyrocket.
That said, the competition will also be intense for such a growing field, so you’ll need to be a cut above the rest to be eligible for the best jobs available and to enjoy thriving dental associate careers. So, what do you need besides good educational qualifications? Let’s see some top skills needed to be a successful dentist.
Good communication skills are essential for every profession — and dental industry jobs are no exception. You should be able to thoroughly understand your patients’ questions and concerns, as well as communicate clearly with them and potential family members across the age spectrum.
Besides the spoken word, watch out for non-verbal expression, too. These subtle indicators can say a lot without ever making a sound. If your words are encouraging but your body language says otherwise, patients may not react well. Along the same lines, you’ll need to pick up on signs of anxiety in patients who may not feel like they can be forthcoming. By focusing on all areas of communication, you can earn patient trust and gain a greater understanding of issues affecting your patients.
Integrity and Empathy
Do you know that dentistry is considered as one of the 10 most trusted and ethical professions in the United States? This means a lot rides on your shoulders in terms of honesty and integrity. You should not only abide by the codes of professional behavior and code, but you should also go above and beyond to exhibit a sense of compassion. This may involve showing sympathy and sensitivity when dealing with patients. Developing these skills early on in your career can make you a potential candidate for many dental positions.
While some dentists have their own practices, others may work at different clinics. Regardless of which dental associate careers you choose, management skills are essential to help you stay on top of your schedule and to provide the best possible care for your patients. You should even know a bit of routine administrative tasks (such as bookkeeping) until you’re in a position to hire employees and have an office of your own. And once you do have your own practice, you’ll need to put those management skills to good use. It’s not only about providing stellar service when the patient is in the chair; you’ll also need to ensure that every aspect of that patient’s appointment runs smoothly.
Everyone appreciates when you remember them. This is all the more important in dentist jobs because it makes it easy for your patients to trust you. Make sure to remember the name of the person and the reason they came to see you in the first place. While it is not wrong to check your notes and even computer records, make sure you stay prepared when the patient walks in to meet you. Consider doing different mental exercises to hone your memory skills when you find some extra time during your student life.
Public Speaking Ability
You may wonder why in the world should a dentist have public speaking skills? While you may not need this skill right away, those who pursue dental associate careers will likely have opportunities to address a gathering or participate in public speaking events. Attending these events and speaking with confidence can do a world of good for your career, so you should never pass up these opportunities. Instead of sitting down to hone these skills just before an event, make sure you’ve worked on those skills earlier so you’re all set to create a lasting impression in public speaking events. This trait becomes all the more important if you are into private dentist jobs. What’s more, sharpening these skills can make you feel more confident when speaking to patients on a daily basis.
While the above is not an exhaustive list, it goes to show that to have thriving dental associate careers, you should not just have the right education, but also develop certain interpersonal skills. This is a good list to climb the steps of a successful career.