What to Do When You Look Too Young to be a Dentist
Dentists who are quite young or even those who look younger than their age face a challenge at work that might be surprising to some – patients tend to prefer and trust older or more tenured dentists. You might have experienced this yourself, or you fear that you’ll have to soon.
But does that mean a private dentist job is not for you? Not at all! There are a lot of things that you can do to make it easier for you to handle misconceptions about yourself as a professional. These tips will help you establish trust with the patient and even with your colleagues:
Go for business casual clothes when you are in your practice, like dress pants, a button-down shirt, and leather shoes. If you prefer to wear scrubs, have your name and title embroidered on the top, and wear a coat when you’re seeing a patient for consultation.
Maintain a Professional Yet Friendly Approach
This is especially important if you are meeting the patient for the first time. Greet them with a friendly smile but shake their hand firmly. Introduce yourself properly and in a reassuring voice that exudes confidence, too. You can’t sound nervous or stern. Never be dismissive. Make sure you address any patient’s question patiently and with a smile. Maintain eye contact throughout the consultation and make sure that you review the patient’s medical history before meeting them.
Keep Your Credentials on Display Both in Your Office and Your Website
One of the best ways to reassure your patients that you are more than capable of providing them with any dental treatment that they might need is to display your credentials where your patients can see them. Don’t be embarrassed about doing it because you worked hard to achieve those accomplishments, and they would also give patients some peace of mind knowing that they are indeed in capable hands. Frame your diploma and all the important certificates so that your patients will see that you have put in all the work and that they should trust you.
Always Act Professionally with Your Staff
Whether they’re temps handling associate dental jobs or the practice manager who’s been in the business longer than you have, you have to maintain the same professional relationship with them. You can’t act like you are buddies when you are in your workplace, even if you are. You want to make sure that your patients see that everyone in the clinic is professional. Address each other politely. You might want to establish early on that you’d like to be addressed as “doctor (last name),” which sounds more professional. Likewise, you should also address your staff with their titles or at least use ‘Ms. Or Mr.’ when you talk to them.
Respond Politely to Jokes
When someone jokes with you, especially about how you look too young to be a dentist or something along those lines, you should smile politely and thank them for the compliment. Then you should assure them that you are experienced, and they don’t have anything to worry about. You should try to avoid answering with “you’re actually my first patient” because that would worry your patient, and it’s not a good bedside manner, either.
In every industry, there will be people who would have misconceptions about you, especially when you are a young professional. Sometimes even those who are recruiting dentists hesitate about hiring younger pros. You should not let this affect you. Instead, show everybody – the dental staff, the recruiters, and most importantly, your patients, that you are more than capable of doing the job. Soon enough, when they see your skills, they won’t be questioning your capabilities.
If you are a young professional looking for a private dentist job where you can practice what you have been preparing for in the past few years, check out Dental Talent. Our recruitment platform has helped countless dental practitioners land their dream jobs in the UK. Join our community today!