Top 25 Dental Interview Questions and Answers in 2024

Editorial Team

25 Dental Interview Questions and Answers

Dental interviews will include a variety of general as well as industry-specific questions. You need to be confident in your industry knowledge. Below we outline 25 questions and answers to help you prepare for your next interview.

1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?

“I am fascinated by great teeth and smiles. From an early age, I was interested in Dentistry and I have focused on this journey all my life. I acquired a degree in Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. Over the past three years, I have practiced Dentistry and I believe that I can fit in this role well. Based on the person specifications, I believe I am best suited for this role as I meet the role and person attributes as listed in the job description.”

2. What Is Your Educational Background?

“ I have a degree in Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from Wide Smiles Dentistry University. I also have a Master of Science in Digital Dentistry. After my internship, I have worked as a Dentist at Evans Dental Hospital where I handled different cases daily. I am confident of my experience as a Dentist and therefore believe that this role will fit in well with my career aspirations.”

3. What Are The Qualities You Need To Portray In Dental School To Be Successful?

“This role requires that you are open-minded and create meaningful networks which will be instrumental in your role. It requires that you have a planned reading strategy so that you are not overwhelmed during the exam season. Planning skills are also needed to be able to schedule both school and personal times effectively. These qualities will be instrumental in ensuring that you succeed.”

4. Describe Briefly About Your Experience

“After my internship, I have worked at Evans Dental for the past three years. In my tenure here I got to handle a variety of dental procedures daily. This has increased my confidence in handling different issues. I have also had a chance of serving clients from diverse backgrounds, therefore, developing my interpersonal skills in the process. I have extensive experience in extraction, teeth cleaning, and root canals. ”

5. What Is Your Typical Exam With A New Patient?

I try to make new clients comfortable to build trust with them. I take a careful approach to their care and explain everything to them in detail. I lie to enquire about their previous dental issues which help in understanding the current issues. I like to ask a lot of questions to determine their level of ease with the dental process. I go ahead and perform the standard procedures to check for gum and tooth health and sometimes perform screenings for oral cancer. I also explain to the client in detail everything that we will go through and give the results of the assessments after. This helps establish rapport and also makes it easier in explaining the procedures that will be done to them. “

6. What Lifestyle Modifications Would You Suggest For Dental Health?

“There are certain things one can do to support dental health. For example, you should drink water instead of sugary drinks. You should avoid a lot of sugar and starches in your meals. You should brush regularly using fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft brush and do not brush aggressively. You should also consider using mouthwash. Avoid smoking as that will lead to the decay of your teeth. Lastly, I would advise that you visit your dentist regularly so that any issues can be noticed early.”

7. Explain How You Would Handle A Pediatric Patient Who Needs An Extraction?

“It is important to make the child feel very comfortable to establish trust first. I will ensure to convince them that Dentists are not bad doctors and also explain to them how the whole procedure will be done. Once I feel they are calm I will go ahead and keep speaking to them to keep them comfortable in the whole process. I understand that this experience may shape how they feel about dentists their whole life and would want to keep it as a positive experience. I work hard to ensure that the environment is comfortable and the experience is great for both children and their families. “

8. What Procedures Are You Comfortable Doing?

“In my previous position, I was responsible for all oral health procedures including fillings, crowns, and extractions. I am also trained to administer local anesthesia and gas for patients who need it. I am capable of performing all diagnostic tests and verifying x-ray results to recommend oral health procedures.”

9. How Do You Handle A Low Income Individual Who Has No Medical Insurance And Are Unable To Pay For The Procedures Out Of Pocket Yet They Need Significant Treatment Procedures?

“My main concern should be the well-being of my patient first. I should aim for equitable care while also considering the going concern for the practice. I would greet them and speak without judgment of them not meeting all their regular appointments. After the initial oral exams, I would explain to the patient what procedures she needs to undergo and ask them how they will finance it. Based on their answer we can go ahead with the procedures.”

10. How Do You Deal With The Negative Aspects Of Being A Dentist?

“As a dentist, I understand that there may be challenges experienced in the profession, especially with clients who have had a previous bad experience. I have a passion for the profession and I believe that is instrumental in taking off any bad experiences I may encounter. I use my enthusiasm to turn the situation around in my favor.”

11. How Do You Tell A Patient That Their Teeth Needs Extraction?

“I would explain to the patient that their tooth is in bad shape and beyond any other procedure needed. I will make it clear that the only option that they need to undertake is extraction to avoid pain in the tooth. Most patients will understand it if the information is passed in a clear and empathetic manner. I would explain that that is the only option they have concerning the tooth. I would also give them tips on how to care for their teeth to avoid such happening in the future.”

12. What Causes Bleeding Gums?

“The buildup of plaque at the gum line leads to bleeding gums. This condition is referred to as inflamed gums or gingivitis. If left untreated the plaque hardens and forms tartar. This will lead to more bleeding and leads to periodontitis which is an adverse form of gum and jawbone disease. Have you ever had a patient who disagreed with your medical opinions regarding their oral health?”

13. What Do You Do If A Patient Disagrees With Your Opinion?

“When a patient disagrees with my opinion I listen to them to determine what their fears and concerns are. You get to understand their point of view if you listen to the concerns that they raise. For example, one time a middle-aged man refused the option of extraction, They requested if another procedure can be done instead of such as filling the tooth. I explained to the patient that his tooth was beyond filling and extraction would be the ideal option in this case. I showed him the tooth x-ray again to show the damage and explained to him how that will not solve his issue. I also explained that the final decision was his. He accepted to have the extraction done and later on he thanked me for advising him.”

14. In Your Opinion, What Issues Do The Elderly Face In Terms Of Oral Health Care?

“The main issues that the old population faces are financial constraints, age, mobility issues, communication, and complicated treatment options due to medications for other medical conditions. In addition, life expectancy has increased and due to advances in oral health majority of the old are likely to retain all their teeth until old age. Dentists need to know how they will handle this. Other medical conditions are also likely to affect the dental health of the aged populations and dentists need to be aware of the effects of the different diseases and treatment options on oral health.

The elderly are likely not to have insurance covers as they are no longer employed. Their pensions may be limited and they are likely to avoid dental visits until they are in significant pain which makes treatment options complex and expensive.

Cognitive issues are also likely to Cause challenges when it comes to understanding their oral health history and the issues they are facing at the moment. They are likely not to be able to outline them well and clearly. They may then have to rely on caregivers who may not be able to address the real issues that the patient is facing.

An additional issue is physical and mobility challenges. This may make holding a toothbrush or flossing hard for them thereby creating oral issues that can easily be prevented by regular brushing and flossing. They may also have challenges when they come for a check-up and might need assistive devices to make their movement within the clinic hassle-free. In this case, patience and support are needed to help them become comfortable when they visit the clinic.”

15. What Tips Do You Give To Your Patients To Help Them Develop Better Dental Hygiene?

“To maintain great oral health, patients should drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste. They should also honor their scheduled dental appointments and also visit their dentist at least once a year even when there are no issues. Patients should limit their alcohol intake and avoid smoking as it destroys the teeth. In addition, in cases where a patient has diabetes, they should work at containing the disease so that it does not affect their oral health.”

16. As A Dentist And Member Of The Administrative Team, What Duties Do You Expect To Handle And Where Will You Excel?

“I have a passion for Dentistry and therefore I will excel in this role. Over the years I have developed my skills in administration by acquiring several soft skills that I believe will also make me work well as part of the administrative team. I also endeavor to use every opportunity available to learn and therefore believe this role will assist in growing me in other aspects too.”

17. What Influenced Your Choice Of Becoming A Dentist And Not Just Any Other Professional?

“My first dental appointment as a child was very pleasant. The doctor fascinated me, by the way, we related so well. He explained the procedure in a way that my little mind understood. It was an extraction and my parents would not be able to handle it because of fear. The doctor then gave me my tooth so that I put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy to come to pick it up. This whole process was interesting and I became interested in the profession and worked hard to realize my childhood dream.”

18. Explain What Is A Root Canal?

“Root Canal is a treatment carried out in the patient having large cavities that damage the tooth root.  The root becomes inflamed and infected in this condition.”

19. Explain Step By Step The Procedure Of Root Canal?

“First the dentist numbs the area using local anesthesia. Then an opening is made to the decay region or pulp chamber via the tooth crown. Special files are then used to remove any unhealthy tissues and infected cells. The canal is then shaped so that it is easy to perform filling. The fillings are made from permanent material. There could be follow-up procedures depending on how bad the tooth was.”

20. What Instruments Are Used For Root Canal?

“For a root canal, the instruments used are a rotary paste filler or lentils spiral filler, finger spreaders, endodontic plugger, gutta-percha points, and  obturating material sealers.”

21. How Do You Determine If A Patient Needs A Dental X-Ray?

“Certain issues may require an x-ray for example if the decay is not visible in an oral exam. In addition, you can request x-rays to check for decay occurring in an existing filling and to check for bone loss in gum disease. X-rays can also reveal the changes in the root canal or bones arising from infections. At times x-rays are ordered as part of initial exams for new patients.”

22. How Long Do You Take To Perform An Extraction?

“On average it will take around 20-40 minutes to perform a tooth extraction. However, some extractions may take longer depending on the issue at hand. For example, in cases of broken teeth in accidents, the procedure may take longer.”

23. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?

“For this role, I foresee that risk mitigation in my role will be a challenge. This is a result of the changing business environment and the effect of the Covid 19 Pandemic. To counter this, I aim to ensure I keep abreast of any changes that are happening locally and globally that may affect the practice. This I believe will ensure that as an organization we will always be prepared for any challenges that may arise. Due to Covid restrictions, patient handling has become a challenge because of the social distancing rules. This may at times affect service delivery.”

24. What Strategies Do You Employ To Stay Up To Date In Your Field?

“I dedicate my lunch hours to reading about changes in the medical industry. This has helped me stay current. I also participate in numerous networking events that shed more light on industry trends and the expectations of the future. These forums have been thought-provoking and eye-opening in terms of what strategies and opportunities organizations can exploit early on. It also sheds a bit of light on anticipating challenges and working at resolving them in time. I also undertake classes to improve my knowledge in the medical industry and advances in medicine mostly offered by the pharmaceutical companies when sharing insights into their research in new treatment options.”

25. How Do You Use Attention To Detail To Care For Your Patients?

“Attention to detail is a great skill to have in dentistry as the oral exam needs a keen eye to pick out all issues facing the clients. Focusing on the small details ensures that nothing is missed during treatment.  This skill ensures that patients receive appropriate treatment and medications.”


In the interview, you will likely meet both technical and general questions. Prepare well and focus on the needs of the organization as highlighted by the roles and responsibilities in the job description. Review these 25 questions and you will be on your way to a rewarding career in Dentistry.