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The difference dental nurses/assistants make.

krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Just thinking about the difference some dental nurses/assistants have made in my care and others that I know.

What makes your dental nurse/assistant great? or not so great?

There have been a few I have really appreciated for sure. And they can make all the difference in a visit where you feel seen , heard and connected somehow at your appt! Much of the time they are the first face you see for your appt. and can really set the tone. That can be good or bad... as well as often times the ones giving the last instructions, prescriptions, etc as you head out the door. So their work is so important and pivotal in care I think!

When I left a dentist 2 years ago due to just declining care on the dentist part, I ended up going to the office they split from because I knew I had felt comfortable with a few of the assistants. That transition was really a friend good one alot initially had to do with their care. They knew how to put an anxious pt to ease.

An assistant Shelby at that new office is one I got to know. She was very approachable, funny, and really listened to me and explained things to me in a way I really got, she was extra careful with me and making sure she got the suction for every piece as she knew I hated the thought of things being missed and swallowed accidentally or the fear of choking on anything. She also knew I feared the thought of my throat going numb from anesthetic being dropped accidentally, she explained that most of the time if that happens its because the topical mixes with saliva because they put too much on and its swallowed. so she would have the suction up there and make sure . I felt completely safe when she was there, as well, she worked so awesomely with my dentist and seemed to mind read him and know exactly what to do .

Dentist switches clinics.. so .. I get to meet the assistants there. Love the 2 assistants at the first clinic right away, really fun and welcoming and kind.. which makes a nervous patient feel much more at ease.. and Shukri was younger and just starting but very great spirit about her and Ashley , she knew exactly what she was doing no doubt. she actually made a temp tooth that stayed on for over 5 weeks and was on there really good!!

Dentist switches to the other location. meet Aimee. again younger assistant , new location , just starting there but she just has a really kind way about her, and she seems like she wants to make patients feel very comfortable and make sure all the questions are answered and also works very well with the dentists , very consiencious and seeming to soak up and really learn everything they are saying and doing so she can help them best. She also let me grab her hand on a shot with a new dentist and offered the second time around :). very intuitive and great!

So three amazing assistants and there have been more. On the other hand. and I hate to go to the negative side so I won't long. but have also had assistants who have barely looked at or spoken to me. or actually ignored I was a person with thoughts and feelings. it was like they were working on a manican head on an assembly line. that was some time ago. years.. there were nurses who shamed me , who rolled their eyes, and others who held me down as a child as the dr drilled and I was in pain freaking out as a child on the inside.

I'm really..... thankful for the ones who make a difference and are so kind and welcoming and know how to treat anxious patients .. Thank God for the great assistants and nurses out there ! They definately deserve a huge credit!! I also have a friend who is a dental nurse and know she does absolutely all she can to make a patient feel seen and heard and understood, and is a strong advocate for anxious patients.. so thankful for that!!
 
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MountainMama

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So far I have been lucky with the assistants. I only had one bad one, and unfortunately she is at the practice I go to, so I may end up with her again.

I went in after my root canal in my front tooth for a regular cleaning. When she started, I told her that I had a root canal the previous week and that the tooth was extremely tender, and to please skip that one when cleaning. She told me, "if you don't clean it, things are going to get a whole lot worse than a root canal". I told her that I am cleaning it gently, but that I didn't want the electric cleaner on it, as I could feel the pain and know how hard to push, but she couldn't.
She huffed at me. Then when the dentisylt camr in, she immediately told him that I wouldn't let her touch the tooth.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Wow.. I would definately be agitated with that one at the least, no sensitivity would put me on edge.. wow.. so sorry .and then to make you look like you were giving a hard time when you nicely asked to please skip the tooth.
 
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comfortdentist

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I had one once who didn't get it. I specifically told her do not touch this which I pointed out. It was a suture that normally she would pick up for me to cut and remove it. This particular patient might well be the most sensitive patient that I have ever had in all my years. My assistant went ahead and pulled up on the suture and the patient yelled. I told my assistant to go home. I never let that one in the room with her again and eventually fired her.

Oh on the upside this lady went through a complex implant procedure utilizing titanium mesh and tissue dissection to grow bone and later placed two implants and crowns.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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It sounds like you are very much attuned to your patients specific needs and sensitivites and a dentist who looks out to make sure they are care for well by not only you but your staff. That is great!! Sounds like she is comfortable with you to do all this work!
 
mikey boy

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While I have yet to be in to see a dentist yet just because the fear I feel is so crippling but what are some ways that you can tell weather or not you will have a good dental assistant or not
 
kitkat

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I’ve never really connected much with dental assistants. To be honest, I prefer the ones that stay out of the way that I don’t really notice during treatment. I prefer to get my reassurance from the dentist during treatment and primarily focus on them. I will say that the assistant that I have now is naturally a warm and friendly person. She seems to keep my dentist in a good mood and she’s pretty good at small talk with me prior to procedures and with my dentist during procedures which helps to distract me. She doesn’t much acknowledge or draw attention to my fear when interacting with me, she just treats me like normal person (which I like). I’ve always felt very comfortable and at ease with her. She’s been with my dentist for quite some time now so they work very efficiently (anticipating each others’ next moves). I will say that I did find the assistant during my root canal to be a very calming presence at the Endo’s office. She placed the rubber dam (that was my first experience with one) and she did more of the talking, reassuring, and explaining during the procedure. She was also more of the person checking in on me throughout the root canal and I very much liked her demeanor.
 
kitkat

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That’s one thing that I think really scares me the most right now is a root canal
It was for me too but root canals are not as bad as their reputation. I was super nervous going into the root canal but after I realized that I was completely numb, I was maybe the most calm and relaxed that I have ever been in a procedure. I learned that I benefit from distraction a lot as the Endo gave me head phones and virtual reality glasses to watch a movie during treatment.
 
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geos

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My dentist has a great dental assistant. She knows how anxious I am and always is very supportive and nice with me. My dentist also has a dental nurse who mainly takes care of the sedation stuff. She is also very nice with me, very encouraging. They often work together too help me go through stuff and I love how they point out how easier some stuff is getting but also are positive and supportive when stuff don’t go as expected. They both make my dental visits more comfortable.
 
mikey boy

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It was for me too but root canals are not as bad as their reputation. I was super nervous going into the root canal but after I realized that I was completely numb, I was maybe the most calm and relaxed that I have ever been in a procedure. I learned that I benefit from distraction a lot as the Endo gave me head phones and virtual reality glasses to watch a movie during treatment.
I guess that makes me feel little bit better because I’m really I’m just afraid of being in a lot of pain like I have a high pain tolerance but I can only take so much
 
Enarete

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@mikey boy root canal treatments seem to have a really bad reputation, but in fact they are not too different from a filling. It might be hard to believe, if you have had different experiences in your past, but it is not only possible for all dental procedures to be painfree nowadays but should be the main concern of any good dentist and with any patient. No need to endure any pain when it comes to dentistry.

I have a favorite nurse at my practice as well. She always looks so happy and payful and well mooded. On my third appointment she sat at the reception and asked me how I was as I arrived. That made me feel like she recognized me and I felt welcome which made my appointment much easier that day. On the other day she said she liked my jacket. It makes me feel a bit stupid, I know this was just a nice small talk and trying to connect but this small compliment made my day and since then I always hope to get her for my treatment. Feeling welcome makes a lot of difference even when I know she treats all patients like this.
 
mikey boy

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@mikey boy root canal treatments seem to have a really bad reputation, but in fact they are not too different from a filling. It might be hard to believe, if you have had different experiences in your past, but it is not only possible for all dental procedures to be painfree nowadays but should be the main concern of any good dentist and with any patient. No need to endure any pain when it comes to dentistry.

I have a favorite nurse at my practice as well. She always looks so happy and payful and well mooded. On my third appointment she sat at the reception and asked me how I was as I arrived. That made me feel like she recognized me and I felt welcome which made my appointment much easier that day. On the other day she said she liked my jacket. It makes me feel a bit stupid, I know this was just a nice small talk and trying to connect but this small compliment made my day and since then I always hope to get her for my treatment. Feeling welcome makes a lot of difference even when I know she treats all patients like this.
I’ve never had a root canal done before in fact I haven’t had any major work done at all really yet so That’s why am just so scared I’m terrified
 
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MountainMama

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That’s one thing that I think really scares me the most right now is a root canal
I had my first root canal last year, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. I was a nervous wreck before, but after I was completely numb, it wasn't any worse than a filling. Actually better, because I didn't have the constant drill sound.
 
kitkat

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I have a favorite nurse at my practice as well. She always looks so happy and payful and well mooded. On my third appointment she sat at the reception and asked me how I was as I arrived. That made me feel like she recognized me and I felt welcome which made my appointment much easier that day. On the other day she said she liked my jacket. It makes me feel a bit stupid, I know this was just a nice small talk and trying to connect but this small compliment made my day and since then I always hope to get her for my treatment. Feeling welcome makes a lot of difference even when I know she treats all patients like this.
It’s funny that you say that about the jacket. I remember once when my dentist complimented my new hair cut and it really lifted my spirits that she noticed and during my last appointment she was admiring my eye makeup whilst waiting for my filling to harden which I thought was nice. I guess I like when they talk about me as a whole person and not just my teeth. My dental assistant is a bit of a comic relief sometimes which helps keep the mood light. I don’t think she means to be funny but she can be awkward at times which just results in funny moments and the dentist and I end up laughing at her. Luckily she’s the type who can also laugh at herself. One example of this is the dentist once moved the overhead light and her assistant reached over to get something and came up and smacked her head on the light not realizing it was there (she wasn’t hurt and had a good laugh about it too)! :ROFLMAO:
 
Enarete

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I One example of this is the dentist once moved the overhead light and her assistant reached over to get something and came up and smacked her head on the light not realizing it was there (she wasn’t hurt and had a good laugh about it too)! :ROFLMAO:
This reminds me of my dentist smacking his head on the light (ok, gently meeting it) once while approaching me as I walked into the surgery which was quite funny for a second too. I would say dental team colliding with the light is a huge one. :grin:
 
mikey boy

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I had my first root canal last year, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. I was a nervous wreck before, but after I was completely numb, it wasn't any worse than a filling. Actually better, because I didn't have the constant drill sound.
Thank you Really appreciate it I don’t know when I’m gonna have my Root canals done but it’s nice to know that I have people here that can reassure me
 
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I had an extraction today and I was terrified. In fact my fear has increased so much in the past few months that I openly express it because I literally can't cope if I try and suppress it. My dentists nurse was absolutely brilliant and has been before. She is calm, very present and I know she is observing and aware. Reassuring and explaining at just the right moments.

Today at one point all I could say was, I'm scared and she was so calm and reassuring. I then said, what happens if you can't get it out. Her confident reply was, we always get them out. She makes me feel able to relax a bit. The dentist is busy and it's nice to think she has her eye on me.

Afterwards I was so relieved I put my head in my hands and said thank goodness that's over. She told me how much they appreciate my fears, that I come to the appointments and that I manage so well so they can do what they need. So much respect. I love her! 😅😊

I've figured out she works on Mondays and Thursdays for sure, so I try and book on those days.
 
kitkat

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I think I would very much like to be a dental nurse that helps patients manage their fears. Perhaps in my next career.
 
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