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5 Traits of a Successful Dental Assistant

Follow your passion for a career in healthcare and make a difference.

Have you been thinking about a career as a dental assistant? You can enter the workforce after earning your certification in just nine months. To ensure you have a successful and satisfying career in the field, it’s helpful if you possess these five traits.

1. Compassionate Caretaker

According to a Journal of Oral Hygiene study, anywhere between 50 and 80 percent of adults in the United States have some degree of dental anxiety. It ranges from mild to severe and more than 20 percent of dentally anxious patients do not see a dentist regularly. As a dental assistant, it’s good to be aware of this and keep an empathetic and compassionate attitude while you’re with patients.

Image of dental student doing hands-on training in the lab.
Experience hands-on learning in a clinical setting.

2. Dedicated to Details

A primary role of a dental assistant is to ensure patient safety. Being focused on the smallest of details will help you be successful, especially when you are tasked with responsibilities like proper sterilization of equipment and updating of patient files.

3. Outstanding Organization

A dental office is a fast-paced environment, and each day brings new challenges and opportunities. From keeping patient schedules and files in order, to preparation of the exam room, being organized is a key to success.

4.  Master Multitasker

As a dental assistant, you will be required to handle multiple responsibilities. To be successful, you must be able to juggle multiple tasks without being stressed out or flustered. Having a calm demeanor is a good way to keep your patients comfortable, and keep your focus on the task at hand, without waiver.

Image of student working on another student in the dental lab.
Begin a fulfilling career in healthcare.

5. Dexterity Dynamo

You will be working with your hands A LOT. And, as a dental assistant, your work will be in a tight space, on a small part of the body. Having solid hand-eye coordination is important and great control of hand and finger muscles is necessary.


Successful dental assistants are excited and willing to act as a team player. You will be called upon to hand off instruments, keep a patient’s mouth clean and dry, and much more! You will be the dental office’s “utility player” and a much depended on member of the team.  So if you have these traits, and are considering a career helping others, take the first step now!

At Pima Medical Institute, you can begin your career in as little as nine months. With hybrid learning environments and hands-on experience in clinical settings, you will graduate ready to hit the ground running.

Learn more now.

Watch our YouTube Short for more insight into the 5 Traits of a Successful Dental Assistant. 


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