A dental assistant is responsible for assisting a dentist in the roles they must perform for their patients. They assist with sterilizing tools and cleaning the work environment, preparing patients for their treatments, assisting with X-rays and helping the dentist to prepare for incoming patients.
A dental assistant can work in many different work environments such as dental offices, hospitals and medical centres. A dental assistant must have clinical knowledge as well as administrative skills to be able to assist with scheduling appointments and restocking products.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Assisting dentists with dental procedures and preparing for patients.
- Clean and sterilize dental tools.
- Help to prepare patients for dental treatments.
- Keep an eye on stock levels and restock when necessary.
- Assist with scheduling patient appointments, and taking payments.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for a Dental Assistant
Most organizations do not require dental assistants to have any formal qualifications. Some organizations however may require dental assistants to have obtained a Certificate III or IV in Dental Assisting from a tertiary education institution. It is also favourable that candidates have previous relevant industry experience and training when applying for this position. There are some common skills required for this position.
It is essential that dental assistants understand the importance of health and safety measures. They must prioritise patient health and safety in all activities, and practise and advocate for health and safety in the workplace at all times. They must ensure quality sterilizing after each patient, and ensure the work environment is always being frequently cleaned.
A dental assistant must have strong interpersonal skills. They must be able to build rapport with patients easily, and communicate with patients clearly and calmly when they are in vulnerable situations. They must also have compassion and be understanding with patients to put them at ease before treatments.
A dental assistant must also be able to take and follow instructions well. They must demonstrate active listening to proficiently follow instructions, and take direction easily without complaints.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Dental Assistant Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
Some organizations may require a dental assistant to have basic dental terminology knowledge to be successful in this role. If this is the case, it is important to include this information in the job description so that any applicants are aware of what is expected of them in the position.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Doc
Describe a time where you have misunderstood someone’s instructions. What was the situation and how did you rectify?
Question Type: Text
How do you ensure effective communication with patients, especially when they are in vulnerable and uncomfortable situations?
Health and Safety
Question Type: Video
What is the number one health and safety concern in this environment?
Interview guide for a Dental Assistant
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.