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4 Ways Dental Assistants Create Better Patient Experiences

4 Ways Dental Assistants Create Better Patient Experiences

As a dental assistant, you might not have the professional background of an orthodontist, general dentist or dental hygienist, but the impact you have on an office is just as profound.


Yes, preparing patients, sterilizing instruments and assisting dentists while at work is important, but there’s yet another assignment that rests heavily on your shoulders.


Providing patients with an incredible experience.


How is this to be done, exactly?


We thought you’d ask that—below, we’ve listed four actionable things you can start doing right this very instant to ensure that each and every patient has the best experience possible while getting dental work done:


1) Introduce the Team

Though you’re not the only staff member capable of making introductions, seeing as how it’s frequently your responsibility to help prepare a patient for dental work, this is yet another way you’re able to enhance the overall patient experience.


Taking things a step further, when recurring patients swing by the office, greet a patient using their first name—encourage other team members to do the same.


It’s a simple gesture, but one that works wonders for helping people feel genuinely cared for.



2) Gentle Contact Is Always a Plus

Trust us—this isn’t as creepy as it sounds.



By simply shaking a patient’s hand and making eye contact with them, slowly but surely, you begin building bonds of trust. That way, when it comes time for the dentist to make clinical contact, they feel that they’re being dealt with in a calm, confident and gentle manner.



3) Give Patients the Control They Deserve

You’re a dental assistant; you’ve spent your fair share of time interacting with patients. As such, you know that many people arrive at the office feeling nervous about what’s going to happen.


They feel that they have no control over what’s about to take place—understandably, this can be somewhat intimidating.

This is where you come into the picture—though you won’t be performing the work yourself, without a mask or gloves, speak with patients about any fears or issues they’re experiencing.


It’s a simple gesture, but one that helps patients feel more in control of things.



4) It’s the Small Details That Matters Most

It was UCLA basketball coach (and 10-time national champion) John Wooden who once famously said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”



While it’s unlikely Wooden’s original comments had anything to do with the greater dental industry his words still apply—it’s the small details that have the greatest impact when seeking to provide patients with an excellent experience.


Whether it be a smile or a brief conversation (in addition to great dental treatment, of course), these are the things patients remember most.


Needless to say, as a dental assistant, you’re just the person to make sure that these kinds of things are accounted for.



You Can Make a MASSIVE Difference

Dental assistants just like you act as the metaphoric glue that keeps an office together, allowing it to run as smoothly as possible.

However, unbeknownst to many dental assistants, patients need them just as much as they do a dentist or hygienist. Truth be told, without your professional touch, their experiences wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable …


Keep up the good work!

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  • Justin Morgan

    Great article! You should invite Kevin Henry on to talk about this. He published at Dental Economics for years an now has a dental assistant consulting firm.