Dental Assisting - Essential Skills and Abilities

Dental Assisting

Essential Skills and Abilities

All students in the LCC Dental Assisting Program must be able to perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.

Visual Requirements

  • Normal or corrected visual acuity sufficient for observation of oral conditions and for patient assessment
  • High level of hand-eye coordination necessary for extremely fine motor control
  • Ability to visually differentiate the color spectrum for tissue conditions and changes
  • Ability to discern subtle changes in radiographic density
  • Ability to clearly see the patient's teeth from a 20-inch distance

Auditory Requirements

  • Correctable hearing in at least one ear and ability to develop reasonable skills of percussion and auscultation

Motor Skills

  • Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective patient care
  • Full manual dexterity including the functioning of both arms, both wrists, both hands and all fingers.
  • Tactile ability sufficient for the use of small instruments with control sufficient for instrumentation
  • Ability to manipulate clinical and laboratory instruments and syringes with sufficient fine motor control to operate in a safe manner to avoid patient injury

Physical Strength and Endurance

  • Motor skills sufficient to render clinical dental treatment
  • Physical strength to move themselves (by walker, cane or crutches if necessary) to a position enabling them to provide dental care
  • Physical strength to assist a patient in transferring themselves to and from a dental chair
  • Physical strength needed to perform CPR for an extended period of time
  • Ability to remain continuously on task for several hours while sitting, standing or moving
  • Communication Skills
  • Abilities sufficient for effective interaction with others in spoken and written English
  • Ability to accurately transfer gathered data into a patient record
  • Ability to read and understand technical and professional materials
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity, confidentiality and respect when speaking with patients, peers, faculty and staff

Intellectual, Conceptual and Cognitive Skills

  • Ability to distinguish normal from abnormal
  • Ability to comprehend, reason, integrate, analyze, evaluate and problem solve
  • Ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships

Professional Attitude and Demeanor

  • Ability to present professional appearance
  • Ability to implement measures to maintain own physical and mental health and emotional stability
  • Emotional and mental health necessary to effectively apply knowledge and exercise appropriate judgment
  • Ability to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability
  • Ability to practice honest and ethical behavior and accountability
  • Ability to self-evaluate
  • Ability to demonstrate respect for individuals of diverse ethnic backgrounds, religion and/or sexual orientation