Skills Needed to Become a Dentist

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Beyond the standard skills like knowing and understanding the practice of dental, dentists continue to bring back repeat customers for other reasons. A very friendly attitude and personality with strong people skills make customers very comfortable in a usual, uncomfortable setting. Here's some additional skills you may not think about everyday...

Conversation Starters

Dentists interact with people all day long, so strong people skills are needed. Always open up with a friendly smile and "hello." Ask how the their day is going and what you can do for them today.


Nobody wants a dentist who works in silence while they pull and stratch inside your mouth. Stay friendly and keep casual conversation throughout the whole appointment. Know when you should talk (for example, when you are working inside the patients mouth) and when you should pause work for a response.


Dentists really need to stay patient with young children who are generally anxious and unable to stay put in a certain place for a long time. Create fun games and activities that keep the child's mind active while you work on their mouth.

Sense of Humor

While this isn't exactly required, it's a very sought after commodity. But don't force it. If you are naturally funny and have great stories, tell them! Keep a sense of humor and ease the tension in the room.

Detailed Orientated

Dentists work with small tools in tight spaces, so try to work with small objects in tight spaces to prepare for a career as a dentist. Understand how to use light sources to see better and always try not to drop tools into the patient's mouth.