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