AADOM News |3 min read

6 Tips for Effective Communication with Your Dental Assistants

Blog by Trina Shipley, MAADOM

Dental assistants play a vital role in our practice and interact the most with patients and employees. Effective communication is critical to providing exceptional dental care. The following six simple tips aim to help you think about the patient and employee experience and how effective communication is essential for a positive work environment.

1. Establish a Positive Relationship

Building a positive relationship with your dental assistants from the beginning is essential. Stay upbeat, as this creates a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Building rapport is about establishing connections with people, so being authentic and kind and finding common interests help to create connection and understanding. To develop a foundation of mutual respect and trust, it is vital to always be polite and respectful during communications.  

2. Clear and Concise Communication

Dental assistants are highly skilled professionals, so understanding their background, knowledge level, and communication style is essential. Be mindful to have a friendly and respectful tone to help convey your message effectively. Pay attention to body language and non-verbal cues. Communication must be clear and concise to ensure everyone is on the same page.

3. Active Listening

To help prevent any misunderstandings and errors, you must listen attentively. Give the dental assistants your undivided attention when they are providing information or instructions. Maintaining eye contact and asking clarifying questions when needed will show respect and interest in what they are saying. Try to understand their perspective and emotions and show empathy for their feelings. Active listening is vital to effective communication.

4. Discussing and Sharing Patient Information

Dental assistants must have relevant patient information such as medical history, allergies, personal preferences, and specific concerns to provide appropriate care and support during treatment. When discussing patient information, protecting privacy is of the utmost importance. Be sure to train the dental assistants on using the practice management software to relay this information accurately.  

5. Providing Feedback

Feedback is valuable and essential for growth and development. Use constructive criticism when addressing concerns or suggestions and focus on specific actions or behaviors. Positive feedback helps dental assistants to understand your expectations and creates an environment of trust and integrity. Be open to questions and be willing to provide further explanation if needed. Encourage feedback and clarification in return to ensure mutual understanding. 

6. Recognizing and Appreciating Efforts.

Fostering a positive work environment can be achieved by acknowledging the dedication and hard work of the dental assistants. Frequently express your gratitude for their contributions and efforts. Appreciation does not always have to be in the form of money or gifts. Sometimes, a simple thank you or word of encouragement can boost morale and motivation, leading to a better employee and patient experience.

Dental assistants are valuable dental team members; effective communication is vital for high-quality dental care. By establishing positive relationships, clear communication, active listening, sharing patient information, giving feedback, and showing appreciation, we can create an environment of trust and respect that leads to excellent patient care.


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About the Author

Trina ShipleyTrina Shipley, MAADOM

Trina is the Director of Business Operations for Pax Dental in Southern Maryland. With over 26 years of dental experience, her mission is to maintain an environment of trust and integrity that provides an unrivaled employee and patient experience. She is a lifetime AADOM member, earned her FAADOM in 2016 and MAADOM in 2023, and is working towards her DAADOM in 2024. She enjoys traveling, motorcycle rides, and spending time with her family in her free time.






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