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Dental assistant leaving... don't know what to do



Former Member
I finally went back to the dentist last year and the assistant I had for all those appointments during that time has decided she wants to be a teacher, and is going back to school and quitting... She was the only one who really cared about my fears and went above and beyond to help me feel more comfortable there. When I emailed to make an appointment, she told me that her last day is May 30 and after that she's quitting for good... I have no idea what to do because she is literally the only person at that office that I have ever talked to. I wear one of those bedtime eye mask things and noise-cancelling headphones when I go because I can't see or hear anything. I've never actually seen or talked to the dentist or the hygienist or anyone else in the office, and I don't know what I'm going to do without the one person I could count on :(
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Apr 10, 2012
Cleveland, OH (USA)
I'm so sorry to hear this! It's really hard to deal with the change after you've established such a bond of trust.

I talk to my dentist and trust her a lot, but her dental assistant is even better more compassionate and sympathetic. A good dental assistant makes a huge difference both to the dentist and the patient.

I wonder if you could get your dental assistant a little token (a gift certificate or even just some goodies), and while you're delivering it, you can tell her that she's made a huge difference in your treatment, and ask if she might do you a favor of leaving a letter or some notes in your record for the next assistant. Dentists do keep notes in the patient files beyond just the technical details, so maybe she can leave some notes about how you lik things or even just informing the next person that you're a sensitive soul and need a little extra TLC.

I'll bet you that if your dentist has a compassionate assistant now, that she'll look for a compassionate person to take her place. The dentist is also the boss of the office, and has a lot to do with the tone of how everyone else acts.

I'm sure you'll get on fine with the new assistant, and he/she will take good care of you. But still, it's a big shock to a delicate phobic's system. I'm so so sorry.


Well-known member
Verified dentist
Jul 19, 2009
Miami, Fl
You bet Steve!
When I need to hire a dental assistant they had better be very nice and patient with my patients along with having a strong interest in dentistry. I have been fortunate in being able to hire foreign trained dentists as chair side assistants.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Mar 23, 2006
In My Dental Happy Place
I really think you need to build your relationship of trust with your dentist (and hygienist) and forget the assistant. They come and go, the dentist who owns the practice does not.
I know this is harder in the USA as they typically do not stay with you the whole time like they do in the UK but you put that you 'don't know what your dentist even looks like' (Vicki once said that and now sounds like she fancies her different dentist so go figure:love:) and I don't believe that is a healthy state of affairs for your long-term dental health.

Change practice if necessary to find a dentist you click with.....you can like the Assistant too but they shouldn't be your only crutch...the person working on you is the one you need to like and trust...trust me...I am not nervous with a dentist I trust.

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