Whether you are looking for a good dentist or want to become one, there are important qualities that should be considered. The characteristics listed below are what lead to long-term success for dentists and optimal care for patients. Every patient should look for these qualities in a dentist.
1. Expertise in Dentistry
Although it will take time to develop, a good dentist must have expertise in the field. This includes the proper education and training, as well as required licensing and certifications. Highly regarded dentists also belong to associations to remain up to date on industry trends and best practices. When patients want to know how their local dentist in Wagga Wagga is top notch, they can find that information through dental associations.
2. Excellent Interpersonal Skills
Being able to communicate effectively and cultivate positive relationships with patients is an important part of dentistry. It’s partially because a lot of people have an inherent fear of dentistry. Going to the dentist is automatically associated with pain, even though patients rarely experience any pain, especially during annual visits. Having strong interpersonal skills enables a dentist to calm the nerves of their patients and develop a rapport that can last for years.
3. Knowledge of the Latest Technologies
There are constantly advancements in technology across all industries, but especially in dentistry. Every year there are new ways to achieve great results, whether it’s related to x-rays that provide more comprehensive information or equipment that simplifies the cleaning process, a patient’s teeth can look better when the dentist takes advantage of the latest technology, processes and products. This also applies to whitening teeth in a way that doesn’t diminish the enamel or cause long-term problems.
4. Fine Motor Skills
Manual dexterity is an important part of dentistry because one small move in the wrong direction can cause a major problem for patients. The mouth is a small space in which a dentist has to work, which means they will need to manipulate dental tools with keen attention to detail, which requires exceptional fine motor skills.
5. Genuine Compassion
Compassion is something that’s important for all medical professions, including dentistry. It’s important that a dentist understand how patients feel about dentistry without taking it personal. They must have both compassion and integrity because they will have to be honest with patients about difficult situations, yet remain understanding.
6. Strong Problem Solving Skills
A good dentist will have strong problem skills because they have to deal with emergency situations that require a quick decision about how to proceed. Even when an x-ray is performed, there’s a chance that something will be uncovered in the middle of a procedure that requires the dentist to leverage their education, knowledge and expertise to make a quick decision that will be in the best interest of the patient.
7. Business Acumen
Most dentists have their own practice, when means they will need to understand some aspects of running a business. While they can certainly hire professionals and specialists to handle certain aspects of the business, they will need to have a basic understanding of how a business is run. This is necessary to sustain a dental practice in the long run and ensure things go as smoothly as possible. Failure to do so can negatively affect patients in many ways. Nevertheless, hiring an accountant and office manager is usually prudent.
All of the above mentioned qualities are necessary for a person to be a good dentist, but that’s not all. There are other intrinsic values that a person must possess that will ensure things work out well for both the dentist and the patient. For instance, a dentist should have a passion for the field, otherwise the work can start to feel monotonous and dealing with some of the issues that arise can become frustrating. However, the same can be said of any profession.
Just like everyone else in the workforce, a dentist should know and hone their craft to develop expertise, but they should also find satisfaction in their work to some degree. Being able to help patients that are in a lot of pain can be very rewarding. Additionally, helping patients feel more confident in their smile is also rewarding. There are a lot of reasons why people become a dentist, but having a true passion for the job is the best quality to possess.
By: Eric Reyes