A Dental Assistant is one of the most important roles in a dental office. They are who the patient has their first and last interactions with when coming in for a dental procedure. It is crucial that they provide the patient with the best possible experience because let’s face it, no one likes going to the dentist and having dental work done. Insert Dental Assistant. Once you build that rapport with patients, they will look forward to seeing you and know that they are going to be taken care of. Patients will ask you if YOU are the one that will be with them next time because you are their new comfort zone.
Being a dental assistant is challenging yet so rewarding. You will deal with patients with every problem or concern you could ever imagine. Sometimes you will feel like someone’s therapist. The person they confide in because they trust you and just need someone to listen. Keep in mind even the way you go to get your patient from the waiting room makes a difference. Every little detail adds up to that first impression. If you are frazzled, running behind and stressed, don’t let it show. Greet them with a smile, a look of happiness, to help ease their mind. You don’t know what they have been through if they give you an attitude or aren’t very friendly. Ask them how their day is going. Sometimes this helps you both relax and gives you a moment to breathe.
Explaining procedures and addressing any concerns before the dentist comes in is a big part of a dental assistant’s job. A times, after the dentist diagnoses treatment on a patient, they will wait until the dentist leaves and ask you if the procedure is necessary. You need the confidence and knowledge to be able to explain to the patient why it is necessary and reassure them that the dentist will take great care of them and only recommend what is truly needed. A patient isn’t just a patient or a number, they are YOUR patient, and that is the most important thing to keep in mind. Dental Assistants will forever leave a lasting impression on a patient and help shape their outlook on dentistry and what it means to them. You get to play that role and it will mean more to you than you can ever imagine.