Results from a recent survey I conducted indicate that dentists in Orange County, California are looking for specific skills when hiring a dental assistant. The most sought after skills were chair side capabilities. Specifically, the ability to fabricate temporary crowns, implant placement procedures and producing quality digital diagnostic radiographs. Laboratory procedures such as taking accurate alginate impressions, pouring and trimming study models and knowledge of bleaching procedures were a concern as well. Also mentioned were understanding front office management, dental computer software knowledge and patient communication talents. These basic skills are essential to a dental assistant’s efficiency and value as the dentist’s “right hand” person. Therefore, a proper dental assisting education is paramount to the dental assistant to ensure excellence in their chosen field. If we strive for greatness we surpass mediocrity.