Part two of our series explores the qualifications and skills of a family dentist. These skills can be classified into two separate categories: hard skills and soft skills. Let’s start with the hard skills first.
A Family Dentist in Gilbert, AZ and Their Hard Skills
First off, hard skills are qualifications that are verifiable and proven. For example a family dentist needs to have a business license as well as a degree. In addition, they must be registered with the state. All dental practitioners must graduate from high school and complete courses in chemistry, biology, physics and calculus.
To become licensed, a family dentist must complete a curriculum from an accredited dental school and pass national board exams. In the U.S., a newly graduated dentist is then awarded a DDS or DMD, degree depending on the dental school that they attended. Then a dentist has to complete their residency. All of these hard skills require time, effort, and money to achieve. While hard skills and qualifications are important, it is the soft skills that have the most effect with patients.
What Are the ‘Soft Skills’ of a Family Dentist?
A family dental practice has to be aware of more than just oral care. Sometimes, certain soft or people skills need to be in place. For example, empathy is a big one. Empathy is the ability to show regard for someone else who may be suffering pain or other issue. Without empathy, a visit to the dentist is a cold and unfeeling one. In some cases, there are dental patients who suffer from dental phobia that need extra counseling before, during and after a dental procedure.
Active listening is a vital soft skill for any dental professional. Active listening implies repeating information back to a patient to indicate understanding. As to why these soft skills are important, it’s simple. These soft skills bring patients back. It makes sense if you think about it. Would you rather go to a competent albeit cold professional for dental work, or would you rather visit the practice of a family dentist who treats their patients as human beings?
Be sure to read part one of this series on family dentistry.
Gilbert Vista Dental Care
2451 East Baseline Road #210
Gilbert, AZ 85234