Dental Staffing

What Are Three Qualities to Look for in a Dental Team Member?

Three different colored keys on a white surface.

Having the right Dental Team is one of the most crucial pieces to your success as a Dental Professional. Without the right Team, Dental Offices will experience problems with patient retention, employee turnover, and lower monthly production numbers. And since dentistry is considered one of top ten most trusted and ethical lines of work in the U.S., it's more important than ever to have the right Dental Staff. Fortunately, dental offices can easily find qualified staff members through dental job boards and utilizing probationary positions. What are the most important ‘people’ qualities you’re looking for in your Dental Practice?

1) Respect

First and foremost, dental staff members should be respectful. Dental professionals should not only show respect for their patients, but the entire team as well. When it comes to working as a team and providing dental services, dental professionals applying for EFDA, dental hygiene, and dental office management positions, must always and in all situations demonstrate respect for one another.

Whether you are cognizant of it or not, patients know if the dental practice they visit for their care shares common respect for one another.

2) Compassion

Going to the dentist is often scary and overwhelming for our patients. Whether it involves the cost, imagined pain or simply enduring an uncomfortable procedure, every employee must understand the patient’s fear. Without the ability to demonstrate compassion, it’s easy to see how this could affect patient retention.

I recently fractured a porcelain onlay, and I ran across the street to a friend’s office, whose boss was known to be a great dentist. As the dentist was working on me, he shared that he had recently gone to the dentist and was reminded “how uncomfortable it was!” Remember: there are very few dental patients who aren’t afraid of going to the dentist and as Aesop once said: “no act of kindness is ever wasted”.

3) Cooperation

A key aspect of dental office jobs is being a great team player. Dental offices cannot run optimally without everyone working as if they are an integral member of a Team. If you’ve discovered a staff member is not  working as a team player and doesn't know how to cooperate and work together, beware. There’s a reason the statement “you are only as strong as your weakest link” has been around for such a long time. It’s true.

Scouting for these qualities should be the responsibility of the entire existing dental staff; in a ninety- day probationary period, it should be easy to determine whether these skills are present or not. Go to, post your Dental Practice profile and create your ad listing these desirable traits in searching for that well-rounded Dental Staff Member to join your Team!




“I can teach a monkey to assist,
I’m looking for stellar people skills.”
- Former DDS, now deceased