Interviews are always stressful, but the more prepared you are to demonstrate professionalism, the better you’ll make an impression.
As an associate dentist, your occupation consists of multifaceted responsibilities that you need to address in an efficient and ethical manner, following all regulations and guidelines issued by the ADA.
In light of this significant responsibility placed on your shoulders, it’s only natural that your hiring manager will want to assess your capability to:
- document patient history,
- handle supplies,
- prepare rooms,
- and sterilize equipment.
Consider these common associate dentist interview questions:
- Tell me about your dental associate experience.
- How do you handle patients who are hesitant about a procedure?
- How do you provide dental care recommendations to patients?
- How do you prepare for the arrival of a patient?
- Are you interested in buying into our practice?
Each of these questions serves as an opportunity for you to highlight the skills and experiences that make you a great candidate for the job.
Answer each of these questions clearly and succinctly, and you will thrive in the interview setting.
The rest of this article will dive into each of these questions and provide helpful sample answers for you to consider.
Dental Associate Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me about your dental associate experience.
One of the first questions you’re likely to be asked in the interview will be regarding your dental associate experience.
To address this question, refer to your day-to-day methodology for treating patients and emphasize how you incorporate professionalism and compassion into your routine.
Whether I’m welcoming a new patient or a regular, I always try to make them feel safe and secure in their environment, bringing a considerate approach to all of my patients.
Aside from the empathetic facet of my job, I’ve also had significant experience in examining patients’ teeth to diagnose and treat numerous oral health problems.
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Upon recognizing these problems, I strive to communicate a clear and actionable treatment plan for my patients and educate them on proper oral hygiene, whether in regard to daily oral hygiene or a critical dental procedure.
2. How do you handle patients who are hesitant about a procedure?
Conflict in a practice is inevitable, and as an associate dentist, you may find yourself taking the brunt of the blow when patients are angry or distressed.
Demonstrating a prepared, coordinated response to your hiring manager evidences your conflict-resolution skills and paints your interpersonal skills in a positive light.
I am well aware that patients will disagree with my medical opinions and may exhibit disruptive behavior out of fear of the procedure.
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In these situations, I aim to make patients aware that I respect and understand their concerns.
However, I also try to reinforce the validity of my medical knowledge, showing any relevant visual aids, such as an X-ray, to explain the risk of not following through with a procedure.
3. How do you provide dental care recommendations to patients?
Part of your responsibility as an associate dentist is to provide clear recommendations to your patients based on your expert evaluations, as well as educate them about their oral hygiene.
When answering this question, make sure you reflect on the empathy that goes into your treatment of each and every patient.
My duty and responsibility as an associate dentist are not only to conduct oral exams and make diagnoses but also to educate patients about how they can improve their oral health.
That process includes educating patients about proper oral hygiene and preventative measures, as well as walking patients through their post-procedure care regimen.
4. How do you prepare for the arrival of a patient?
As an associate dentist, your responsibilities not only include caring for patients but also managing your time wisely so that you and the other practitioners can streamline the treatment process to ensure all patients get the care they need.
Before the patient arrives, I review their dental history to investigate prior oral health concerns and evaluate their comfort with dentists.
Suppose the patient is coming for a specific operation.
In that case, I delegate responsibilities (or take on the mantle myself where appropriate) to ensure the room is sterilized and prepared with the necessary equipment.
For new patients, I conduct a standard oral health exam to check for signs of gum disease and damage to the teeth, as well as a screening for oral cancer.
5. Are you interested in buying into our practice?
Questions about buy-in are likely to be asked if you’re joining a practice owned by dental professionals who also operate there.
If you’re interested in becoming a partner, then this option might be worth considering ahead of time.
Of course, there’s no harm in evaluating the practice and familiarizing yourself with it first.
Be brief in your response. If you want to defer the conversation to a later date, then do so graciously.
I appreciate your willingness to consider me as a partner in this practice.
I’d love to hear more details about how this future business relationship would play out, but for now, I’d like to give this idea more thought before we revisit it in a later conversation.
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Questions to Ask Your Employer Dental Associate Interview
While the primary goal of an interview is for your prospective employer to assess your:
- skill set,
- and work experience,
you should also take some time to ask a few questions to evaluate the principles that drive the practice.
You should not only consider whether you’re a good fit for the company, but also whether the company meets your expectations.
In light of this, the following questions are good to ask your employer:
- What is your openness to buy-in options at this time?
- What salary can I expect for my position?
- Do you offer benefits for this position?
- How do patients tend to describe the practice?
- How long have your other practitioners been working here?
Conclusion: Dental Associate Interview Questions
Getting your mind in the right place for an interview can be difficult.
But preparing yourself by developing sample answers to these common questions can certainly help you be ready for anything your employer might ask.
Answer each question truthfully and succinctly, and you’re likely to leave a good impression at the interview.
Good luck with your upcoming associate dentist interview!
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