Qualities of a Good Dentist
There's no question that an individual must be familiar with a large number of different tools and procedures in order to become a dentist or another type of dentistry professional, but there is more to dentistry than simply a collection of tools and procedures learned at a dental school. A good dentist must not only have the knowledge to carry out the duties of his or her profession, but must also have, or develop, a series of other intrinsic qualities, as well.
- The first quality that a good dentist should have is the ability to feel rewarded by helping others. The primary responsibility of any good dentist is to help people protect their teeth and to alleviate the pain and problems that oral diseases and disorders can cause. A dentist must not only be interested in the money that he or she receives for services, but also in helping other people. The ability to feel rewarded by helping others is important because an individual who simply wants to become a dentist for the money will not only make a lousy dentist, but will also be less likely to actually find the patients and money that he or she is looking for.
- The second quality that a good dentist should have is a confident and reassuring demeanor. Most patients are uncomfortable or, in some cases, outright terrified by the very idea of going to the dentist. This discomfort or fear is typically a result of the fact that people have a natural dislike for procedures that are performed in their mouths, and possibly also a result of the long-standing but incorrect belief that the field of dentistry is more nonsense than science (this belief is related to the superstitions on which the field was based for thousands of years but which no longer apply). However, a dentist with a confident and reassuring demeanor will typically be able to assuage some of an individual's fears and make the individual feel more safe and comfortable in his or her office.
- The third quality that a good dentist should have is a set of good interpersonal skills. A dentist is required not only to comfort and distract an individual while he or she is working, but also to explain the oral problems that an individual may be experiencing, what procedures he or she is performing to correct the problems, and what techniques an individual can use to avoid the problems in the future.
- The fourth quality that a good dentist should have is a willingness and ability to follow a textbook approach. A dentist has to follow a specific set of practices and procedures to protect and/or repair an individual's teeth, and any deviation from this set of practices and procedures will not only put a patient at risk, but will also increase the likelihood that the dentist will be sued.
- The fifth quality that a good dentist should have is the ability to be exacting in his or her work and the ability to pay attention to detail. A dentist is constantly required to identify extremely small problems that are very easy for an individual to miss and must be able to know how to correct each problem.
- The sixth and final quality that a good dentist should have is a good sense of coordination and manual dexterity. This is quite possibly one of the most important qualities because a dentist is constantly required to make incredibly precise movements to remove and/or correct the detected issues; a single slip may cause permanent damage to an individual's mouth or teeth.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013