While anyone with a good grip on science can get into a dental school, only a few have what it takes to be a great dentist in practice. A great dentist doesn’t only need to have an extensive level of education and the knowledge and expertise to carry out the multitude of dental procedures, they also need to develop a series of other characteristics, qualities, and skills as well.
That’s because dentistry is unlike other professions in medicine and science. While other medical professionals are mostly masters of science, dentists also have to be good people persons, good business persons, and good artists. After completing their residencies and internships, most dentists start their own practice, or to say in other terms, start their own business. And so, besides having the heart and knowledge to care for patients, they also need to have other skills to run their own practice and attract and retain patients.
Here are the top qualities of a great dentist that instantly make them stand out. Also read this article on mistakes dentists must avoid if they want to be successful and stand out.
Manual dexterity comes first
The first thing that comes in handy for a dentist is manual dexterity, the ability to make incredibly precise movements in the mouth while maintaining a sense of coordination throughout the procedure. The mouth is a relatively small space to work in. Hence, having fine motor skills and the ability to manipulate tools accurately in a small space with a steady hand is a really valuable skill.
A way with details
When working in such a small space as the mouth, dentists can’t afford to miss even the smallest of details. Hence, a great dentist should be very detail oriented. And while they shouldn’t miss those important details that can make the difference between proper alignment and misalignment of the jaw, they should also be able to spot the little details that can be the first indicators of some bodily ailment or a dental problem.
Strong interpersonal skills make all the difference
Let’s face it: most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. And so, it’s your role to make patients feel comfortable and put them at ease. To do this, you should have very strong interpersonal skills. Being personal with your patients, talking to them, and being very kind and compassionate with them can give you a successful career. You should take their complaints about pain seriously and empathize with them. And when presenting treatment options, you should talk to them honestly and try to build their trust.
Good people skills is the number one thing that makes all the difference in a patient’s experience. The impression you make with that first phone call and when they first walk in your office is what makes them think you’re different from other dentists. And this immediately builds their trust on you and they become comfortable with you as they sit down in the dental chair.
Having a desire to learn makes you different from the rest
Dentistry is an ever evolving field. New technologies are being introduced every day that make dental procedures more comfortable, effective, and affordable. Hence, if you have a desire to learn and master all the new technologies and science in dentistry, it instantly makes you stand out from the rest.
They should be masters of art
Good dentists aren’t only masters of science – they should also have outstanding artistic abilities that allow them to restore a patient’s teeth and give them a brilliant smile that they can confidently show off to others. While dentistry is mainly about maintaining proper oral health, it is also an aesthetically focused practice. The art of dentistry requires a mastery of techniques unique to the profession.
Good business skills help
Having good business skills can be really helpful for dentists. Most dentists start their own practice right after they complete their residencies and training. This means they are in charge of doing all the things that are required to run a business including hiring and training staff, looking over expenses, handling the legal stuff and also marketing their practice and attracting patients. This all requires a good business sense.
A passion for providing care to those in need makes you stand out
Lastly, what makes you different from the rest is your passion to provide oral care to those who can’t afford. As a dentist, you should provide payment plans and help patients budget for their dental care and afford the costs of dental treatment. You should also take part in community service and programs dedicated to provide low cost care for those in need.
All the above qualities are necessary if you want to be a dentist who patients can trust and feel comfortable with. If you are a great dentist, your patients will keep returning to you and will always refer you to others, hence ensuring that you enjoy a successful career.