25 General Dentist Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a general dentist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a general dentist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
A dentist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral health conditions and diseases. Dentists must have a strong knowledge of oral anatomy, as well as an understanding of how the mouth and teeth interact with the rest of the body.
If you’re interested in becoming a dentist, you’ll need to complete four years of dental school and pass a state-licensed exam. But before you can even get to that point, you’ll need to go through a dental school interview, where you’ll be asked a variety of questions about your qualifications, experience, and goals.
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of common dental school interview questions and answers.
Employers may ask this question to learn more about your commitment to the dental field. They want to know that you are actively involved in professional organizations and associations. When preparing for an interview, make sure to mention any memberships or affiliations you have. If you don’t belong to any groups, consider joining one before your interview.
Example: “Yes, I am a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). As a member of the ADA, I stay up to date on the latest developments in dentistry and have access to resources that help me provide the best care for my patients. I also attend conferences and seminars hosted by the ADA to further my knowledge and skills as a dentist.
I am also an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), which is dedicated to helping general dentists stay current with the latest advances in dental technology and techniques. Through the AGD, I have been able to network with other professionals in the field and gain valuable insight into how to better serve my patients.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit into their dental team. When answering, think of a few strengths that relate to the job description or what the employer might be looking for in an ideal candidate.
Example: “As a dentist, I believe my greatest strengths are my attention to detail and commitment to patient care. I take great pride in providing quality dental services to my patients and strive to ensure that every procedure is done with precision and accuracy. My dedication to patient satisfaction has enabled me to build strong relationships with my patients over the years.
I am also highly organized and efficient when it comes to managing my practice. I have developed systems and processes to ensure that each patient receives the best possible care and that all procedures are completed in a timely manner. I’m comfortable working independently as well as collaboratively with other dentists and staff members to provide comprehensive treatment plans for our patients.”
This question can help the interviewer understand your approach to treating patients. Your answer can also show them how you view yourself as a dentist and what kind of patient you prefer working with.
Example: “My ideal patient is someone who values their oral health and takes a proactive approach to maintaining it. They understand the importance of regular check-ups and cleanings, as well as preventive measures such as brushing and flossing. They are open to discussing treatment options and take an active role in making decisions about their care. Finally, they have realistic expectations for their dental treatments and trust my professional judgement.
I believe that by having this type of relationship with my patients, I can provide them with the best possible care. I strive to create an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions and expressing any concerns they may have. My goal is to ensure that each patient has a positive experience while receiving quality dental care.”
This question is a great way to learn more about your potential employer and the culture of their office. It also gives you an opportunity to share something personal that relates to dentistry. When answering this question, try to choose a story that shows how passionate you are about dentistry while also highlighting your interpersonal skills.
Example: “My most memorable experience in my career so far was when I had the opportunity to provide dental care to a young patient who had been living with severe tooth decay for many years. The patient had never received any kind of dental treatment, and it was clear that they were scared and anxious about the process. Despite this, I was able to create a safe and comfortable environment for them, and we worked together to restore their teeth back to health. It was incredibly rewarding to see the transformation in the patient’s smile after the procedure was complete. This experience taught me the importance of providing compassionate care to all patients, no matter what their circumstances may be.”
Interviewers ask this question to see how you handle challenging situations. They want to know that you can remain calm and professional even when a patient is being difficult or disruptive. In your answer, try to show the interviewer that you are able to stay positive in these situations while also maintaining control of the situation.
Example: “I have had to deal with difficult patients on multiple occasions throughout my career as a General Dentist. One particular instance that stands out in my mind was when I had a patient who was very resistant to treatment. He was adamant about not wanting any dental work done and refused to listen to any of my explanations or advice.
In order to handle this situation, I took the time to sit down with him and explain why it was important for him to receive the necessary treatments. I also made sure to be respectful and understanding of his concerns while still emphasizing the importance of taking care of his oral health. After some back-and-forth discussion, he eventually agreed to go through with the treatments.
This experience taught me how to effectively communicate with challenging patients and find solutions that are beneficial for both parties. It also showed me the importance of being patient and understanding when dealing with difficult people.”
This question is a great way to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to learn new things. It also shows the interviewer that you are willing to ask for help when needed. Your answer should include an example of how you would research the issue, talk with other dentists or seek out additional resources to solve the problem.
Example: “If a patient came in with a problem I wasn’t familiar with, I would take the time to assess the situation and determine if it was something that could be handled in-house. If not, I would refer them to a specialist who is better equipped to handle their specific needs. In either case, I would ensure that the patient understands what is going on and why they are being referred out or treated in-house.
I also believe in staying up to date with the latest advances in dentistry so that I am able to provide my patients with the best care possible. This includes attending continuing education courses, reading professional journals, and consulting with colleagues when necessary. By doing this, I can stay informed about new treatments and techniques and be prepared for any unfamiliar situations that may arise.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle employee training and development. It can also show them your ability to manage a team of dental professionals. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take to ensure the employee understood proper hygiene procedures.
Example: “If I noticed one of my employees was not following proper hygiene procedures, the first step I would take is to have a conversation with them. It’s important to approach this situation in a respectful and professional manner. During our conversation, I would explain why it’s important for everyone to follow the necessary protocols and discuss any potential issues or concerns they may have.
I would also make sure that all staff members are aware of the policies and procedures that must be followed. This includes providing training on how to properly sanitize equipment and maintain a clean work environment. Finally, I would ensure that there are clear consequences if an employee fails to comply with these standards. By taking these steps, I can help create a safe and healthy workplace for everyone.”
General dentists often work in a fast-paced environment, so employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the job’s demands. In your answer, explain how you manage stress and provide an example of a time when you did so successfully.
Example: “I handle stress very well. I have a lot of experience dealing with high-pressure situations in the dental office, and I understand how to prioritize tasks and manage my time efficiently. I am also able to remain calm under pressure and think clearly when making decisions.
In addition to having strong organizational skills, I also practice mindfulness techniques to help me stay focused and relaxed during stressful times. This includes taking regular breaks throughout the day, engaging in deep breathing exercises, and listening to calming music. These practices help me stay productive and maintain a positive attitude even when things become hectic.”
This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. It’s also a chance for you to learn more about the role, so be sure to ask questions that will help you understand what it would be like to work at this dental office.
Example: “Yes, I do have a few questions. First, what is the patient base like? Are there any particular demographics that you serve more than others? Second, how would you describe the office culture and team dynamic? Finally, what type of technology does your practice use for dental procedures?
I am confident that my experience as a General Dentist makes me an ideal candidate for this position. My background includes providing comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages, from preventive services to restorative treatments. I also have extensive experience in digital radiography, intraoral cameras, and other modern technologies used in dentistry. Furthermore, I am comfortable working with diverse patient populations and strive to provide excellent customer service.”
This question helps the interviewer understand your experience with different types of anesthesia and how you use them. It also shows whether or not you have a preference for one type over another. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention which type of anesthesia you prefer and why.
Example: “I typically use local anesthesia when performing fillings, root canals or crowns. I believe it is important to ensure that the patient is comfortable and relaxed during their procedure. Local anesthesia allows me to provide a more efficient and effective treatment while also providing a safe environment for my patients.
I have extensive experience in administering local anesthesia and take great care to ensure that the patient is not feeling any pain throughout the duration of the procedure. I am also familiar with general anesthesia and understand its importance in certain cases. However, I find that local anesthesia is usually sufficient for most procedures.”
This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and how you can help a dental office improve its patient care. When answering this question, think about the ways you’ve helped patients understand their treatment plans or what you would do differently in the future.
Example: “I believe that effective communication is the key to successful patient care. To improve communication with patients, I would focus on creating a welcoming and friendly environment in my office. This could include making sure that the reception area is inviting and comfortable, as well as having staff members who are knowledgeable and approachable.
In addition, I would ensure that all of my patient interactions are clear and concise. I would make sure to explain procedures and treatments in detail so that patients understand what is happening at each step of their visit. Finally, I would use technology to enhance communication with patients. For example, I would send appointment reminders via text or email, and provide online access to medical records and other information. By utilizing these strategies, I am confident that I can create an atmosphere of open communication between myself and my patients.”
This question is a great way to assess your attention to detail and organizational skills. Your answer should include the steps you take to ensure that all tools are clean and disinfected before moving on to the next patient.
Example: “My process for cleaning and disinfecting my tools and equipment after each appointment is thorough and comprehensive. I start by wiping down all surfaces with a hospital-grade disinfectant to remove any visible debris or contaminants. Then, I use an autoclave machine to sterilize all of the instruments. Finally, I store them in individual containers that are labeled according to their purpose and expiration date. This ensures that all of my tools and equipment remain safe and sanitary for use during future appointments.
I also take extra precautions when it comes to patient safety. Before every appointment, I check the expiration dates on all of my supplies and replace anything that has expired. I also make sure to wear gloves and a face mask at all times while working with patients. By following these steps, I can guarantee that my practice remains up to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and experience. They want to know what makes you unique from other candidates. When answering this question, think of a skill or quality that sets you apart from others. You can also mention any certifications you have earned.
Example: “I believe my experience and qualifications make me stand out from other general dentists. I have been practicing for over 10 years, during which time I have developed a strong reputation in the dental community for providing high-quality care to my patients. My commitment to continuing education has allowed me to stay up to date on the latest techniques and technologies in the field of dentistry. In addition, I am passionate about patient education and take every opportunity to ensure that my patients understand their treatment options and are comfortable with their decisions. Finally, I have excellent communication skills and strive to create an environment of trust and respect between myself and my patients.”
This question is a great way to see how comfortable you are with technology in the dental office. It’s important for dentists to be able to use software programs that help them keep their patients’ records organized and up-to-date, so it’s beneficial if you have experience using these types of programs. If you don’t have any experience using specific software, consider taking some time to learn about it before your interview.
Example: “I am very familiar with a variety of dental software programs. I have experience using Dentrix, Eaglesoft, and Open Dental. I am also comfortable learning new software quickly if needed.
I understand the importance of staying up to date on the latest technology and software in order to provide the best patient care possible. I strive to stay informed about the newest advancements in dentistry so that I can better serve my patients.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how you prioritize your work and what skills you use to provide excellent customer service. When answering, consider which aspects of customer service are most important to you and explain why they’re important.
Example: “I believe that the most important aspect of customer service is providing a positive and welcoming experience for patients. As a General Dentist, I strive to make sure my patients feel comfortable and at ease during their visit. This includes taking time to listen to their concerns and answering any questions they may have. My goal is to ensure that each patient feels heard and respected throughout their appointment.
I also understand the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest dental technology and procedures. By staying informed on the newest advancements in dentistry, I can provide my patients with the best possible care. In addition, I am committed to continuing education so that I can stay current on new techniques and treatments.”
Continuing education courses are a great way to learn new techniques and stay up-to-date on the latest dental technology. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re committed to continuing your education throughout your career. In your answer, share how often you take these classes and what you’ve learned from them in the past.
Example: “I am committed to staying up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry. I make sure to take continuing education courses regularly, at least twice a year. This helps me stay current with new techniques and technologies that can improve my practice. It also allows me to provide the best possible care for my patients. In addition, I attend conferences and seminars throughout the year to keep abreast of the newest developments in the field.
I believe that staying informed is essential to providing excellent dental care. That’s why I strive to stay ahead of the curve by taking advantage of every opportunity to learn more about the profession.”
This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your willingness to try new things and how you would handle an ethical dilemma. Your answer should show that you are willing to do what’s best for your patients, even if it means going against company policy or procedures.
Example: “Yes, I would be willing to try a new treatment for a common dental problem on a patient. As a General Dentist, it is important to stay up to date with the latest treatments and technologies available in order to provide the best care possible to my patients. I understand that this particular treatment may still be in the experimental stage, but if there is potential for it to improve the quality of life for a patient, then I am open to trying it.
I believe that being open minded and willing to explore new treatments can help us as dentists better serve our patients. I also recognize the importance of safety and will always take the necessary precautions when considering any type of experimental treatment.”
General dentists may need to perform a variety of procedures, including those that are more challenging. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and experience needed to handle these types of cases. In your answer, share what steps you take to ensure patients feel comfortable during difficult procedures. Explain how you use your communication skills to help patients understand what they’re going through.
Example: “I have extensive experience in performing difficult dental procedures. I understand that these types of procedures can be challenging and require a great deal of skill, precision, and patience. To ensure successful outcomes, I take the time to thoroughly review each patient’s medical history and discuss their treatment options with them before beginning any procedure. I also stay up-to-date on the latest advances in dentistry so that I am able to offer my patients the most effective treatments available.
When handling difficult procedures, I always make sure to use the highest quality materials and adhere to strict safety protocols. I also work closely with other members of the dental team to ensure that all steps are taken correctly and that the patient is comfortable throughout the entire process. Finally, I strive to provide excellent follow-up care to ensure that my patients receive the best possible results from their treatment.”
General dentists need to be organized and efficient in order to provide quality care for their patients. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to succeed in their dental office. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and what methods you use to ensure that each patient receives high-quality treatment.
Example: “I believe that staying organized and providing quality care to each patient is essential in a successful dental practice. To ensure this, I use several methods. First, I make sure to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient based on their needs and goals. This helps me stay organized by having all the necessary information in one place. Second, I keep detailed records of every appointment so that I can track progress and be aware of any changes in the patient’s condition. Finally, I take time to review my notes after each appointment to ensure that I have provided the best possible care. By following these steps, I am able to provide high-quality care to each patient while also staying organized.”
An interviewer may ask this question to assess your decision-making skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation that involved an ethical dilemma and how you resolved it.
Example: “In my previous role as a general dentist, I had a patient who was very anxious about their dental procedure. The patient expressed concerns about the pain they would experience during the treatment, which made me feel uneasy because I wanted to ensure they felt comfortable throughout the process. In order to address these concerns, I spoke with the patient’s physician to see if there were any medications or treatments that could help alleviate some of their anxiety. After speaking with the physician, we decided on a course of action for the patient.”
Example: “As a dentist, I am constantly faced with ethical decisions on a daily basis. One particular instance that stands out to me was when a patient came in for a routine cleaning and the hygienist noticed signs of decay on one of their teeth. After further examination, it became clear that the patient had neglected to take care of their oral health and needed more than just a simple cleaning.
I had to make an ethical decision as to how best to proceed. On the one hand, I could simply clean the tooth and send them on their way without any additional treatment; however, this would not be in the best interest of the patient’s long-term dental health. On the other hand, I could recommend a more comprehensive treatment plan which would involve additional time and cost for the patient.
Ultimately, I chose the latter option and recommended a more comprehensive treatment plan. I explained to the patient why this was necessary and what the benefits would be in terms of their overall dental health. The patient ultimately agreed and we proceeded with the treatment plan. This experience taught me the importance of making ethical decisions as a dentist and always putting my patients’ needs first.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and whether or not you have experience with it. It’s important to show that you’re willing to resolve conflicts, but also that you know when to ask for help from a supervisor.
Example: “I had a situation in my previous office where two patients were arguing over a procedure. One patient was adamant that the procedure should be done one way, while the other patient disagreed. I took the time to explain both sides of the argument and listen to each patient’s concerns. After hearing both points of view, I was able to come up with a compromise that satisfied both parties.
I think it is important for a dentist to be able to mediate disputes between patients in order to maintain a positive atmosphere in the office. As a General Dentist, I am confident that I have the skills necessary to handle such situations professionally and effectively. My experience has taught me how to remain calm and composed under pressure and find solutions that are beneficial to all parties involved.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with patients who are more challenging. They want to know that you can handle any situation and provide excellent care for all of your patients. In your answer, explain how you’ve worked with these types of patients in the past and what challenges you faced. Show that you’re willing to learn new techniques or methods to help you work with these patients better.
Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience working with children, elderly and disabled patients. During my time as a General Dentist, I have worked closely with each of these patient populations to provide them with the highest quality dental care.
I understand that each population has unique needs and challenges when it comes to oral health care. For example, I am experienced in providing gentle yet effective treatment for young children who may be apprehensive about visiting the dentist. With elderly patients, I am knowledgeable on how to adjust treatments based on their physical abilities. Finally, I have experience creating customized treatment plans for disabled patients to ensure they receive the best possible care.”
General dentists often work with patients who have little to no background in dental care. It is important for a general dentist to be able to explain complex procedures and treatments in an easy-to-understand way that does not confuse the patient. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of how you would break down information into more digestible pieces.
Example: “When explaining complex treatment plans to a patient who does not have any prior knowledge of dentistry, I always take the time to break down each step and explain why it is necessary. First, I start by introducing myself and making sure that the patient feels comfortable with me. Then, I make sure to explain the procedure in terms that are easy for them to understand. For example, if I am discussing a root canal, I will explain what a root canal is, how it works, and why it is important for their overall oral health.
I also like to provide visuals whenever possible, such as diagrams or models, so that patients can better visualize the process. Finally, I always allow plenty of time for questions and ensure that all of their concerns are addressed before moving forward with the treatment plan. By taking these steps, I believe that I can effectively explain complex treatments to patients without prior knowledge of dentistry.”
This question can help the interviewer learn more about your background and experience. It can also show them how you might contribute to their dental practice if they hire you. If you have published any research, include that information in your answer. You can also talk about other ways you’ve contributed to the field of oral health.
Example: “I have been involved in a variety of research related to oral health. I recently completed a study on the effectiveness of fluoride treatments for preventing cavities, which was published in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition, I have conducted several studies on the impact of diet and nutrition on oral health. My findings showed that certain dietary choices can significantly reduce the risk of dental caries and other oral diseases. Finally, I am currently working on a project exploring the use of technology to improve patient education about oral hygiene.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see if you are self-aware and willing to improve your skills. In your answer, try to be honest about any areas where you feel you could grow as a dentist. Try to frame these answers in a way that shows you’re actively working on improving those skills or behaviors.
Example: “I believe that there is always room for improvement, and I am constantly striving to learn new techniques and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in dentistry. In particular, I have been focusing on improving my skills in cosmetic dentistry, such as whitening treatments and veneers. I also recently attended a course on implantology, which has given me more confidence in providing dental implants.”