Skills and Character Traits Required to Work as a Dentist
Of all the professions you could choose to work at in life, jobs in the healthcare industry (including dentistry) frequently top the list of the most satisfying careers in the world. A job in the care sector typically commands good wages, the respect of your peers, and a feeling of self-worth achieved through caring for others and solving sometimes life-threatening problems.
The Role Played by Dentists
Dental professionals safeguard our dental health and work tirelessly to isolate, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Becoming a dentist requires significant time studying. However, while qualifications and training are important, the job also needs unique personal qualities and character traits for individuals to succeed.
What Does It Take to Have a Successful Career in Dentistry?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a dentist but aren’t sure what’s required, below are a few qualities, personal traits, and courses of study that could help:
Qualifications and ongoing training: As you might expect, dentists are required to complete dental school, acquire relevant licenses for their state or country, and stay up to date with current dental treatments and developments through regular training.
Understanding and respecting the need for cleanliness and infection control: Dentists perform a variety of services, ranging from complex operations to relatively simple whitening and cleaning processes, but all these treatments must be carried out in a sterile and hygienic environment. Dentists should have a keen understanding of infection control protocols, including prioritizing cleanliness in both their surgeries and on their tools. For example, by using dental ultrasonic cleaners on equipment.
Communication and interpersonal skills: Strong communication skills are vital to working as a dentist, particularly when explaining potentially complex operations to patients clearly and concisely.
Manual dexterity: Dental procedures often involve complex and intricate operations performed in the patient’s mouth. This work requires high levels of manual dexterity and steady hands.
Empathy and compassion: Many patients have a tangible fear of dentists so dental professionals need to have high levels of empathy and compassion to address the emotional needs of their clients and set them at ease.
The ability to deal with oral fluids and blood: Much of a dentist’s work involves being around oral fluids and, very often, blood. Consequently, a professional dentist will have to be able to with these substances without issues.
Problem-solving: Many dental problems require out-of-the-box thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills to devise the best course of treatment for the patient. A successful dentist should be highly skilled at taking an overhead view of an issue to allow them to first analyze a problem, isolate the cause, diagnose the condition, and then come up with the best course of treatment.
Professionalism and a sense of dedication: Aside from the long, intense training period involved in being a dentist, practitioners will be required to undertake ongoing training to stay abreast of new developments. Moreover, a dentist needs to take a professional approach to his or her work and be prepared to provide the best possible care to patients while sticking to recognized standards.