Skills Needed to Become a Dentist


Beyond the standard skills like knowing and understanding the practice of dentistry, dentists continue to bring back repeat customers for other reasons. A friendly attitude and a personality with strong people skills make customers comfortable in a usually uncomfortable setting. Here's some additional skills people don't usually think about that dentists need.

Conversation Starters

  • Dentists interact with people all day long, so strong people skills are needed. Dentists should always open up with a friendly smile and "Hello."


  • Nobody wants a dentist who works in silence while they pull and poke inside your mouth. Dentists should be friendly and keep casual conversation throughout the whole appointment. Knowing when to talk (for example, when the dentist is working inside the patient's mouth) and when to pause is necessary.


  • Dentists need to stay patient with young children who are generally anxious and unable to stay put in a certain place for a long time. They should create fun games and activities that keep the child's mind active while the dentist works on their mouths.

Sense of Humor

  • While this isn't exactly required, it's a sought after commodity. Dentists shouldn't try to force being funny.

Detail Oriented

  • Dentists work with small tools in tight spaces, so they need to be detail oriented. Dentists need to understand how to use light sources to see better and try not to drop tools into the patient's mouth.

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