Dental Clinic: Learning the Art

Dentistry is an important part of medicine, but sometimes it can be overlooked or considered inferior to the other aspects of medicine. “It’s just the teeth, it’s not that important!” One might say. However dentistry covers all aspects of oral medicine. It consists of the study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders of the oral cavity. So for those who have an interest in dental apprenticeship as a stepping stone into dental medicine, here are a few things you need to know to guide you on your journey.

Your responsibilities Ensuring high standard of cleanliness

You are responsible for keeping the clinic clean and reducing infection to the barest minimum. Decontamination of instruments, maintaining dental equipments and ensuring that all relevant instruments are in place, are the major things you should check.

Reception and paper work

As a dental apprentice in the field, you might be required to take details of a patient, make notes as the dentist is examining a patient or handle confidential files that may include patient information and history.

Patient care

Do note that you are an important part of the team. Therefore you are required to make sure that patients are adequately taken care of. Observe patients closely and report irregularities to the dentist.

Assisting the dentist

This encompasses a wide range of duties and procedures; from preparing equipment and ensuring availability to cleaning, sterilizing equipment and handing equipment to the dentist during a procedure.

Other duties may also include writing of reports on patient care, handling scans and radiographs as well as day-to-day inventory of out patients' visits.

Personality traits

Some common laudable personality traits you should possess include the following:

Friendly and easy to talk to

The ability to put patients' minds at ease and make them talk freely to you is very important. Make yourself friendly and try to get to know them personally as you may just be their mouthpiece whenever they need to relay a message to the dentist.


Patients should be able to trust you enough to know you don't want to hurt or ridicule them.

Detail oriented

You should be able to take note and observe for the slightest detail regarding patients.

A good communicator

Learn to communicate! Be nice and polite, breakdown difficult words and be very expressive. Never let your patient feel lost in a conversation.

Other qualities also include:

  • Caring and showing concern about the patient
  • Cleanliness
  • Passionate
  • Artistic
  • Generally speaking, you should be excited about your duties and interest should be genuine. Dental apprenticeship is one of the numerous ways that sets you on your way to being a dentist and I sincerely hope this piece serves you well.