17 Dentist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a dentist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Dentists play a critical role in maintaining oral health for people of all ages. They diagnose and treat dental problems, perform surgery on gums and teeth, and provide preventive care. In order to become a dentist, you need to complete a rigorous program of study that includes classroom instruction and clinical experience.

But before you can start your career, you’ll need to go through the interview process. One of the questions you may be asked is, “What are your long-term career goals?” This question can be difficult to answer, but with a little preparation, you can give a thoughtful response that shows you’re committed to the field of dentistry. In this guide, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to answer this question and other common interview questions for dentists.

Are you comfortable working with patients who are nervous or in pain?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and compassion for patients. They want to know that you can help calm a patient’s nerves or ease their pain while still providing quality dental care. In your answer, try to highlight how you use your communication and empathy skills to make patients feel comfortable and relaxed.

Example: “I understand that many people are nervous about visiting the dentist. I always do my best to put my patients at ease by explaining procedures thoroughly and answering any questions they have. If someone is particularly anxious, I will offer them something to relax them before we begin treatment. For example, if a child is scared of getting shots, I might give them a lollipop to distract them from the procedure.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a dentist?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a strong understanding of what it takes to be successful in this role. When answering, consider highlighting your own personal qualities and how they align with those that are important for dentists.

Example: “I believe some of the most important qualities for a dentist are empathy, communication skills and problem-solving abilities. As a dentist, I would need to understand my patients’ concerns and explain procedures clearly so they feel comfortable. I also think it’s essential to be able to solve problems quickly when working with patients who may be anxious or unsure about their dental care.”

How would you describe the relationship between a dentist and a patient?

This question is a great way to assess how you interact with patients. It also helps the interviewer understand your perspective on the role of dentists in their patients’ lives. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe what you believe the relationship should look like and why.

Example: “I think that a dentist’s relationship with a patient should be one of trust. A patient needs to know that I have their best interests at heart and will do everything I can to help them feel comfortable during their appointment. This means being honest about any procedures or treatments they need and making sure they understand all aspects of those procedures.”

What is the most important thing for a patient to know about dental care?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your communication skills and how you can help patients make healthy choices. Your answer should include information about dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and it may also include information about scheduling regular appointments with their dentist.

Example: “The most important thing for a patient to know about dental care is that they need to brush twice a day and floss once a day. This will ensure that they are removing food particles from between their teeth and preventing bacteria buildup. It’s also important for them to schedule regular checkups with their dentist so we can catch any issues before they become serious.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to give critical feedback to a coworker.

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and criticism. It can also show them your communication skills, as well as your ability to give constructive feedback. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a specific situation where you had to provide critical feedback to a coworker or employee. Try to focus on the steps you took to ensure that the person understood what they did wrong and learned from their mistake.

Example: “In my last position, I noticed one of my dental hygienists was not following proper sanitary procedures when treating patients. She would often forget to wear gloves while examining patients, which could lead to cross-contamination. I spoke with her privately about the issue and explained why these procedures are so important for patient safety. She apologized and promised to do better in the future.”

If a patient came to you with a concern about a tooth, what would be your first course of action?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and ability to communicate with patients. It also allows the interviewer to see how you prioritize tasks in an efficient manner.

Example: “If a patient came to me with a concern about a tooth, I would first ask them what they were experiencing. Then, I would examine their mouth thoroughly to determine if there was any damage or decay that needed immediate attention. If not, I would explain to them that it’s likely just a case of sensitivity and recommend some home remedies for the issue.”

What would you do if you noticed a coworker was not following proper sanitation procedures?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with others and your ability to communicate. It is important to show that you are willing to speak up when necessary, but also that you respect the opinions of others.

Example: “If I noticed a coworker was not following proper sanitation procedures, I would first approach them privately to discuss my concerns. If they were aware of their mistake and promised to correct it, I would give them time to do so. However, if they continued to ignore proper sanitation practices after our conversation, I would report them to management. I believe it is important for everyone in the office to follow safety protocols.”

How well do you handle stress?

Dentists often work in a high-pressure environment, so employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the job. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and what strategies you use to stay calm when things get busy.

Example: “I find that I am able to handle stressful situations quite well. When I first started practicing as a dentist, I was working with an older dentist who would yell at his staff for making mistakes. This stressed me out quite a bit, but I learned to take deep breaths and focus on my work. Now, I try to be more positive and encouraging to my staff. If someone makes a mistake, I calmly talk to them about it and help them learn from their error.”

Do you have any questions for me about the dentist position?

This question is a great opportunity to show your interest in the position and learn more about it. Interviewers often ask this question to see if you have any questions about their practice, so be sure to come prepared with at least one or two questions that will help you learn more about the role.

Example: “Yes, I do. First, I noticed that you offer free dental care for children who can’t afford treatment. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do as a dentist, so I’m curious how you started that program and what challenges you faced. Also, I was wondering if there are any opportunities for professional development within the company? I’d love to learn more about continuing education programs.”

When performing cleanings, what is your favorite part of the process?

This question is a great way to learn more about the dentist’s personality and how they interact with patients. Interviewers ask this question to see if you enjoy interacting with patients, as well as what your favorite part of the job is. When answering this question, try to be honest about your feelings toward patient interaction and which parts of the cleaning process you like most.

Example: “My favorite part of performing cleanings is when I get to meet new patients. It’s always fun to hear their stories and find out why they decided to start coming to our office. I also love getting to work on people’s teeth because it’s so rewarding to see them leave the office with a smile.”

We want to ensure our patients feel comfortable coming to the dentist. How would you make a new patient feel welcome?

Interviewers ask this question to see how you interact with patients. They want to know that you can make people feel comfortable and welcome in the office. Show them that you have excellent interpersonal skills by describing a time when you helped someone feel more at ease.

Example: “I always introduce myself to new patients, even if they’re coming in with a parent or guardian. I like to shake their hand and look them in the eye so they know I’m talking to them directly. I also try to learn something about them before we start our appointment. For example, I might ask what brought them into the dentist’s office today. This helps me put them at ease and makes them feel more comfortable.”

Describe your dental treatment philosophy.

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your approach to treating patients. They want to know if you have a unique philosophy or if you follow the same treatment plan for every patient. When answering, describe your overall philosophy and how it applies to each of your patients.

Example: “I believe that everyone deserves quality dental care regardless of their financial situation. I offer free services to low-income families and individuals who can’t afford regular dental visits. In my practice, I also provide emergency care to anyone in need, even if they haven’t been a patient before. This is why I always keep some time open on my schedule so I can treat patients as needed.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their dental practice. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or experience that makes you unique from other candidates. You may also want to mention something that relates to the job description.

Example: “I am passionate about providing excellent patient care. I have been working on my communication skills for years, which has helped me become an empathetic dentist who is able to connect with patients. My passion for dentistry also led me to start my own YouTube channel where I share tips and advice for maintaining healthy teeth.”

Which dental procedures are you most excited to learn how to perform?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your passion for dentistry. It also helps them determine if you’re ready to learn new procedures and techniques. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention one or two specific procedures that you’ve been looking forward to learning how to perform.

Example: “I’m most excited to learn how to do root canals because I’ve heard they are quite challenging. I have always wanted to master this procedure so that I can provide my patients with more treatment options. Another procedure I am eager to learn is dental implants. I’ve seen some amazing results from these procedures, and I would love to add them to my repertoire.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your customer service skills. Customer service skills are an important part of being a dentist because you interact with patients on a regular basis. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you would use your customer service skills in the role.

Example: “I think that empathy and compassion are two of the most important aspects of customer service. As a patient, I want to feel like my dentist understands what I’m going through and wants to help me as much as possible. In my last position, I always made sure to listen carefully to my patients and make them feel comfortable. This helped them feel more at ease during their appointments.”

How often do you think patients should come in for checkups and cleanings?

This question can help the interviewer determine how often you recommend checkups and cleanings to your patients. It also helps them understand whether or not you are likely to overbook appointments, which could lead to unhappy patients. In your answer, try to explain that you would encourage regular visits but also respect patient autonomy.

Example: “I think it’s important for patients to come in for a cleaning at least twice a year. I always make sure to give my patients plenty of notice when their next appointment is coming up so they have time to schedule it. However, if they ever need to cancel an appointment, I am happy to reschedule with as much advance notice as possible.”

There is a new technology that could improve the way you perform dental procedures. How would you learn how to use it?

This question is a great way to assess your ability to learn new technologies and adapt to changes in the dental industry. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you are open to learning new things and how you would go about doing so.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my skills as a dentist. I would first do some research on the technology and find out more information about it. Then, I would ask other dentists who have used it before what their experience was like. Finally, I would practice using the technology myself until I felt comfortable enough to use it with patients.”


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