Common personality traits

Dentistry is an unusual profession because while dentists are mostly focused on patient care, they also often own and run their own businesses. Many dentists have a diverse set of personality traits that allow them to work both closely with patients and be successful managers of their practices.

A successful dentist is…

  • Comfortable with close personal interaction. 
    If you think about it, much of a dentist’s time is spent with his or her face and hands extremely close to patients’ faces. Successful dentists are comfortable with being very close to other people, even if sometimes patients have bad breath. 

  • Easy to talk to.
    Successful dentists try to learn about patients on a more personal level before beginning treatment to make patients feel more comfortable. This puts patients at ease and makes them feel like the dentist truly cares about them as whole healthy people, not just about their mouths. 

  • Trustworthy.
    Since dentists are working with sharp metal objects in the mouth, a very sensitive area of the body, it is really important that they are trustworthy. Patients need to trust that their dentist will try his or her best not to hurt them and will take all precautions necessary to make their experience pain free. 

  • A detail-oriented person.
    The mouth is an extremely small space to work in, so dentists must be detail oriented. The smallest misalignment of something in the mouth can wreak havoc on a patient’s bite and tooth health. 

  • Artistic.
    Dentistry is often referred to as an art. It requires mastery and technique unique to the profession. Dentistry is largely based on maintaining proper oral health, but is also an aesthetically focused practice. A large part of dentistry involves restoring teeth and making a smile beautiful, one that the patient is happy to show to others. 

  • A leader.
    Dentists may own or work as practitioners within a practice, so they often are natural leaders. They must not only lead a team of dental hygienists, technicians and assistants, but must also manage any other employees, such as the receptionist, while also making high-level business decisions for the practice.

  • Excited about the profession of dentistry.
    Successful dentists enjoy the work they do every day and are fascinated by the mouth and all of the connections it has to the rest of the body.
  • Passionate about providing care to those in need.
    Dentists often participate in community service, helping those in need with oral care and treatment. Many dentists enjoy helping those with no access to care receive treatments for painful or unattractive parts of their mouths.

  • Caring and concerned about how the patient feels during procedures.
    Because dentists work in a very small and sensitive space of the body, a good dentist communicates with the patient during every step of a procedure, making sure they are okay and not in too much pain. Good dentists go to great lengths to make their patients comfortable and relaxed without pain. 

  • Good communicator. 
    A successful dentist has a keen ability to distill complex procedures and processes into simple language so that the patient can understand exactly what is going on in his or her mouth and any procedures that the dentist suggests.