5 Tips for Dental Assisting Success

careers in dental dental assistants success in dental assisting Jul 19, 2022
dental assistants

Dental assisting is a growing field that can be both rewarding and challenging. While challenging yourself professionally can be exciting, it comes with pros and cons just like other dental professions. 

To help focus on the pros of dental assisting, here are five tips that can set you up for success:

Know Your Worth - A recent survey shows that the entire dental team overwhelmingly values dental assistants. In fact, almost 100% of those surveyed agreed that dental assistants contribute to profitability, office synergy, and patient retention in their offices. 

As an assistant, it is important that you know how important you are to office success because if you don’t know your value, others may not either. When you know the value you bring to the team, you are more satisfied and empowered to be your best.

Learn to Earn - While dental assistants can enter the field without a formal education, those who continue to learn and grow reap benefits. In terms of salary, dental assistants with advanced training and certification earn a higher salary

Although salary is important, it’s not the only benefit of learning. Holding an additional certification, joining a professional association, and attending continuing education courses regularly elevate your knowledge and level of professionalism. 

Stay Organized - Whether you work in a practice with lots of organization or one that lacks consistency, you can make your days more successful by creating your own protocol for the organization. Being organized helps to improve your daily time management, increases efficiency, and reduces daily stress.

Using simple principles such as reviewing schedules in advance to plan your day and anticipate changes, keeping designated areas for your supplies and having overflow setups readily available to avoid wasting time, and creating a method of communication between yourself and the front office enhances the daily flow.

Focus on Soft Skills - While clinical skills are essential for a dental assistant, soft skills are just as important for success. Good communication, positive motivation, strong ethics, adaptability, problem-solving, creativity, and dependability are critical to your success. Finding ways to boost your soft skills will help improve your work day and keep the office flow positive.

Volunteer Your Time - Maybe you don’t think that you have time to donate your time. But rethink that because studies show that dental assistants who volunteer their time not only help others but also help themselves.1 Volunteerism leads to not only more career fulfillment but also a happier and healthier self.

Volunteering also looks great on your resume and is a plus when interviewing for a new position. It shows that you have a passion for being a dental assistant, which makes you more employable and valuable!

By incorporating these simple tips into your daily life and career plan, you can continue to enjoy being a dental assistant and reap the rewards of continued career success!


About the Author: Suzanne L. Vila, RDH, PHDHP, B.A.

Suzanne is a Registered Dental Hygienist in Central PA who works in private periodontal practice and at a local college as an adjunct dental hygiene faculty. After a thirty-year career in dental hygiene, Suzanne is now creating non-clinical projects involving professional enhancement, public health initiatives, and patient education. In addition to being a passionate dental practitioner, Suzanne enjoys teaching fitness classes such as Pilates and yoga and volunteering with the local dog rescue Pitties.Love.Peace, and spending time with her family and their two rescued pit bulls, Rudy & Freya.


Kaweckyj, Matalie. "Give Back and Get Back: Volunteering not only aids people and organizations in need, it also supports a healthier and happier you." The Dental Assistant, vol. 87, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2018, pp. 12+. Gale Academic OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A579093676/AONE?u=anon~4aa3e036&sid=googleScholar&xid=a57c610a. Accessed 14 July 2022.