What To Expect as a New Dental Assistant

Congratulations, you are a new dental assistant. You have completed the excellent training at Milwaukee Career College in the dental assisting program. You feel quite confident in your knowledge and skills. The interview for a position at a dental office has turned into you being accepted for the job, and your first day is Monday. Now you are ready to make some money for the skills you have learned. But what can you expect when a new dental assistant? Here are some common ones.

New Dental Assistant Jitters

It’s Monday and you have arrived for your job in dental assisting. Suddenly you are having “butterflies” in your stomach, and feel a bit of panic. Relax, breath slowly, this is common with any new job. Try to think of a place or situation that makes you feel calm. What is ironic is that you are nervous because you want to do well. But, when you are nervous you will tend to make more mistakes.

Not Knowing What to Do Next

Every office has a routine and you will learn it. When you are new you will not know that routine. Make yourself busy. Look around to see what needs to be done. Ask a lot of questions. Ask what the dentist needs to be done next. Don’t just stand there, because you will appear to be lazy.


It comes with being nervous and not knowing the layout of the office as well. You might knock over equipment or trip over something. If this happens, don’t run out of the room in embarrassment, just pick yourself up, or the equipment, and gracefully apologize. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and the patient will feel more comfortable also.

Saying the Wrong Thing

We have all been there where we wish we could just scoop those words back into our mouth. Have you ever felt that the conversation was going well, but then something you said made it seem like there was a “lead balloon” in the air? Part of your job is to engage in small talk with the patient to make them feel comfortable. Sometimes you will say the wrong thing, not something mean, but something you didn’t understand. Like if the patient is talking about Honda motorcycles, and because you don’t know much about them, you think they are talking about Honda cars. It happens. Don’t worry, if you realize your mistake, laugh it off.

Suddenly Forgetting What a Procedure Is

You have done well in learning everything about dental assisting at Milwaukee Career College but when the hygienist or doctor asks you to get the equipment ready for a certain procedure, you draw a blank. Sometimes they may be using a different name or shortcut for the name. Other times you know it, but it has slipped your mind. Don’t be afraid to get a quick reference to that procedure by Googling it or checking YouTube. Most likely when you just start reading or viewing, it will all come back to you.

These things are very common and you will become more comfortable as time goes on. Every office has its personalities and every dentist will be different as a boss. Usually, on a new job, it will take at least 3 months to become comfortable, and by 6 months you will be very proficient. To give you knowledge and confidence take our course in dental assisting. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Contact us to learn more about dental assisting and how MCC can help you get started on your new career!


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