8 Must-have soft skills to build a successful Dental Career
Dental Career Growth: Out of over 2.7 lakh dentists registered with the Dental Council of India, the government employed only 7,239 dentists which is 2.7% of the total registered dentists, revealed by the National Health Profile (NHP) 2018. This indicates that an average population of 1.76 lakh is being served by the government-employed dentists which are roughly 11,082 people per government doctor.
The statistics clearly show the increasing unemployment rate of dentists. However, the shortage of dentists still prevails in rural areas with the people unable to access and afford quality dental services. But this has little to do with creating vacancies for dentists in rural areas. Despite the shortage of dental services in parts of the country, the unemployment rate among dentists is still high. And this is only because of the unorganized expansion of the dental colleges through the private sector in urban areas. How to address this problem of unemployment among dentists?
Upskilling is the answer to build a successful Dental Career
A career in dentistry is highly rewarding only if you have the necessary skills to offer quality dental care to patients and communicate well with them. Whether you are treating children or adults, you must ensure the comfort of your patients. Communication is the key. You need to talk to patients about their dental histories and oral care routines. So it’s very important to be a good communicator to build a strong connection with the patients.
A dentist is more often known as a dental surgeon who specializes in diagnosing oral diseases and prescribing medications such as antibiotics, fluorides, pain killers, local anesthetics, sedatives that treat various oral conditions. The role of a dentist primarily involves preventing infected teeth, removing decay, and restoring the oral health of the patients. A licensed dentist can perform various dental treatments such as dental restorations, orthodontics, prosthodontics, endodontic therapy, periodontal therapy, and oral surgery.
For admission to dental courses, a candidate must pass the 12th or equivalent examination with a science stream in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. Candidates should also have a valid NEET UG score. The upper age limit for the NEET UG exam is 25 years. Candidates should successfully complete the 5 years Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) dental program and acquire the license to start practicing dentistry.
If you are looking to thrive in your career as a dentist, here are the 8 must-have soft skills for your growth:
1) Focusing on minor details
A good dentist always pays attention to every detail of the patient’s dental problem. Before you start the treatment process, it’s very imperative to become familiar with even the minor problems of the patient’s teeth or gums. Inaccurate information can lead to the wrong treatment that might endanger patients’ health.
2) Constant energy
Amidst the hustle-bustle of scheduling patient’s appointments, communicating energetically with every patient sometimes becomes a difficult task. Being equally enthusiastic with every patient is very crucial despite a large number of patients you see every day. Giving individual attention to all the patients sitting in a dental chair will have a significant impact on the patients’ outcome. If you bring life and sincerity to your conversation with patients, then you will be able to increase the number of loyal patients who will recommend you to others.
3) Communication Skills
Developing communication skills is often an underestimated proposition among medical professionals. Most of them don’t believe that they need this skill to foray into the healthcare industry. As a dentist, you need to communicate with patients on a daily basis and understand their pain points. Hence developing excellent communication skills is a must if you want to address the dental problems of your patients. Lack of transparent communication will create a sense of reluctance among patients which will prevent them from coming back to you. No matter how professional you are on a technical or medical level, your patients should be comfortable in sharing their dental problems with you.
4) Leadership Skills
One of the crucial skills a dentist should possess is leadership skill. If you incorporate the essential traits of being a skilled leader, then you can become a role model for your staff. You can inspire them to be the best in their respective roles. Listening carefully to your team members and communicating with them effectively are among the key components of effective leadership. Always pay attention to what they want to communicate so that you can help them grow to the next level in their career.
5) Fine-tuning manual dexterity
Manual dexterity is the ability to use your hands in a skillful manner to perform small tasks using object manipulation. So developing manual dexterity skills is a must if you want to stand out in the race of the dental profession. The process of diagnosing oral diseases requires the dentist to insert sharp tools inside the mouth. A minor wrong movement of your hand might hurt patients and endanger your expertise to treat successfully.
6) Interpersonal Skills
As a dentist, you might end up thinking that your job is to only diagnose oral problems and provide medication. Well, then you are mistaken, you have to put yourself in the patients’ shoes for a better outcome in health management. Strong interpersonal skills are imperative to attain success in the dental profession and build a strong connection with your patients.
7) Constant learning
Starting from virtual reality, artificial intelligence to 3D printing, a plethora of new technologies have revolutionized the treatment approach towards oral health. Be it tele dentistry consultation or 3D printed prosthesis, disruptive innovations seemed to have a huge impact on dental practice and patient care. Therefore constantly updating your knowledge will keep you ahead in the competition and help you meet the evolving needs of the patients.
8) Be a Dentalpreneur
Are you looking to open your own dental clinic? Then you must know all the business aspects of running a dental practice if you want to generate revenue out of it. Yes, you are in the field of creating an impact on healthcare, but it’s equally important to have a sustainable business model to keep your dental business going. The more patients you see per hour, the more revenue you generate which means increasing the capacity in terms of the number of staff or hygienic rooms. But at the same time, you should know how to control your overhead costs.
We at Medvarsity recommend you to get enrolled in the following courses to reach the next level in your career as a dentist: