As the nation's oral health has improved, so expectations have increased about the kind of care that the dental team provides. Fewer extractions and fillings means more time spent keeping teeth and gums in good condition, providing advice and tackling disease. Here are some of the key skills you will need to pursue a career in dental care:
Willingness to learn and make sense of scientific knowledge
Working as a dentist you will need a good academic background and interest in scientific knowledge particularly human anatomy and oral diseases processes. These skills are increasingly becoming important for all members of the dental care team. It is also important for you to update and test your knowledge against experience.
Good manual dexterity
Being good with your hands is important as well as good eyesight, including colour recognition. A key part of the role would be confident handling of medical instruments while working inside someone’s mouth.
Good eyesight and colour vision
You will be carrying out precision work in confined spaces.
Ability to offer advice and educate others
There's a strong educational element to your job, teaching the skills for patients to keep their teeth and gums in good condition. You’ll be dealing with a broad range of people, each with their own characteristics and concerns.
Happy to work as part of a team
The dental care team consists of a wide range of people with different skills and academic backgrounds. You need to have strong interpersonal skills and enjoying working as a team.
Excellent people skills
No two patients, and no two procedures, are ever quite the same. You would be providing dental care for people of all ages, from young children through to grandparents. You should be able to put people at their ease, gain their confidence and deal sympathetically with their problems and fears.