Little tips and tricks to be the best

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isaac in Joes, Colorado

82 months ago

Hi
I was hoping other dental assistants would share with me. What do you do that sets you apart from other assistants? or saves time? keeps your Dr. in a good mood :-) I have been an assistant for only four months and just now feel like I am o.k. at what I do. THANKS FOR SHARING!

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stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia

75 months ago

I have assisted for 15 yrs. I am an exceptional assistant because i try to anticipate my drs. every move. Try to learn as many routine procedures as possible. Learn the Drs. flow, have burs ready, next appt set up, and no wasting of mateial. They love this. Ask questions as to why the dr. likes to use certain materials at certain times. this way when you see such things as a pulp expoure, you'll know what to have out. Also learn to make temps this saves th dr. lots of time, therefore able to have more production

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Fawn DA in Modesto, California

75 months ago

Hi I had an interview today and they asked me to come back as much as possible next week for a working interview....what should i expect?? they are all really nice. its a slow paced office,...they know that I am really new, (new graduate)...and the dr. is fairly new too. please help me as much as possible!! im so nervous i cant eat!! haha! thanks a lot! my email is: fawnndaniel03@yahoo.com i would love to hear back from someone who can really help me ease my nerves! :)

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stephanie CDA in Senoia, Georgia

75 months ago

Congrats and good luck! If you have found a slow paced office, thats a great place to get your feet wet. Just be willing to to work hard and pay attention. Don't be afraid to try a procedure, especially if someone is there willing to assist you. We have a new person in our office who is scared to death to take an x-ray. Well I told the person who is training her to be easy with her and let her start with something easy like bite wings on an established pt. Not an FMX on a new pt, Ha Ha! I wish I could help more with her training, But we are a very fast paced office, and she has been hired as a hyg asst. So they want her to become more proficient in that department first. Well anyway back to you. Its ok to be nervous, everyone was new once. Every time you goto a new office it will be the same feeling over again. RELAX (smile)

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Fawn in Merced, California

75 months ago

Thanks! I have a really good feeling about this place. I'm just wondering what I will be doing. Do you have an idea of what I could be doing next week?? I know they dont expect me to know where everything is, so im sure they will make sure I do learn where everything is. i'm very excited and nervous. but thanks for the advice! Its good to know that there are understanding people out there in the dental field. :)

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Fawn in Merced, California

75 months ago

That makes me feel better. haha! i'm pretty confident when it comes to doing all that stuff, so I'm more excited about it than I am nervous. and thats a good thing. well i will definately let you know how it goes. thanks a lot for your help!! i really appreciate it!

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Fawn in Merced, California

75 months ago

stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia said: If you were in our office, we would start you out most likely in the setting up and breaking down of the treatment rooms. This way you would be able to learn where things are and how to keep things sterile and how to run sterilization. Let me know how things go. I dont check my e-mail everyday, but at least 2-3 times a week.

The work interview went great!! I think so anyway haha! I am so relieved! I really think I have a good chance at getting the job. The Dr. asked me to come back wednesday at 8 am!! so i'll be there then! this is a good sign right?? thanks for you help!

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T.Preice in Duncan, Oklahoma

75 months ago

I have 2 1/2 years of hand on experience as a dental assistant in the state of Alabama. Can I get a job without being certified in the state of Georgia.

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Fawn in Merced, California

75 months ago

stephanie CDA in Senoia, Georgia said: Congrats and good luck! If you have found a slow paced office, thats a great place to get your feet wet. Just be willing to to work hard and pay attention. Don't be afraid to try a procedure, especially if someone is there willing to assist you. We have a new person in our office who is scared to death to take an x-ray. Well I told the person who is training her to be easy with her and let her start with something easy like bite wings on an established pt. Not an FMX on a new pt, Ha Ha! I wish I could help more with her training, But we are a very fast paced office, and she has been hired as a hyg asst. So they want her to become more proficient in that department first. Well anyway back to you. Its ok to be nervous, everyone was new once. Every time you goto a new office it will be the same feeling over again. RELAX (smile)

I wanted to let you know that I got the job! I start monday the 18th. $10.00 an hour. 8 hours a day. 4 days a week!!

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stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia

75 months ago

You should be able to get work. The best thing you can do is have great references with your resume and good letters of recomendation with current numbers to be contacted. good luck.

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stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia

75 months ago

Fawn in Merced, California said: I wanted to let you know that I got the job! I start monday the 18th. $10.00 an hour. 8 hours a day. 4 days a week!!

Good job, and again good luck.

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Stacie

73 months ago

I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes to get certified in expanded duties. I am looking to get certified--what would the closest school be to Conyers, GA? How much does it cost? Thanks!

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Gabbriana

73 months ago

Hey, Stacie..

I don't believe you can get certified in EF? I've heard you can get certificates of completion for taking a EF class but i
believe EF is working in a Dental office & learning from the Dentist & maybe staff hands on?..I'm not 100% on this..

I guess not being 100% is probably no help to you..:)

Gabrianna..

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Stacie

73 months ago

Do you know how long the course takes to get certified and how much it costs? Thanks for your help!

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Gabbriana

73 months ago

Wow!! Georgia vs.Indiana on this topic are completely opposite.

In Georgia..don't you still have to be a CDA before you can even consider getting a certification in EDDA?

Gabbrianna!!

ps. look at the differences in Georgia & Indiana..

Georgia: www.dentalassisting.org/exams/stateacceptance.asp

Indiana:
www.dentalassisting.org/exams/stateacceptance.asp

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tearvin in Austin, Texas

73 months ago

Question: I have been a Oral&Maxillofacial Assistant for over 10 years now. Never had to learn General Dentistry, and I was trained by a Army Colonel. I am a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in State of Texas.
Now, I realize how important it is to know General Dentistry and I am willing to learn. Are there any suggestions, so that I may do well in my job search within Dentistry profession?

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lizzle in Sacramento, California

72 months ago

isaac in Joes, Colorado said: Hi
I was hoping other dental assistants would share with me. What do you do that sets you apart from other assistants? or saves time? keeps your Dr. in a good mood :-) I have been an assistant for only four months and just now feel like I am o.k. at what I do. THANKS FOR SHARING!

That is a great question! I like to learn how the doctor im working with likes things. All Dentists are different and like to do certain things their own way. Here are some things my dentist in particular likes/prefers: He wants me to use the handle of the cotton pliers to retract the checks/tongue. He likes to have his face shield for cleanings and composite procedures.
Heres some stuff that might just save you some time: When you clean the room put all the trash on the chair cover and all the instruments on the tray. This saves trips. Also try to use a primary trash so that most of the trash is in one location. I try to look at the schedule and have the trays all set up about 3 patients ahead.
With my doctor i just try to learn what he wants and expects and try to always be anticipating his needs. This way we get through the procedure faster and smoother.

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GA2thFairy in Macon, Georgia

71 months ago

Stacie said: I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes to get certified in expanded duties. I am looking to get certified--what would the closest school be to Conyers, GA? How much does it cost? Thanks!

Hi Stacie,
You can go to the Georgia Dental Association website to view information about attaining your Expanded Duties Certification. www.gadental.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=90 There are requirements that you must meet before you can take the two-day course.
Hope this helps!
~Sheila

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leslie in Bandy, Virginia

56 months ago

tearvin in Austin, Texas said: Question: I have been a Oral&Maxillofacial Assistant for over 10 years now. Never had to learn General Dentistry, and I was trained by a Army Colonel. I am a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) in State of Texas.
Now, I realize how important it is to know General Dentistry and I am willing to learn. Are there any suggestions, so that I may do well in my job search within Dentistry profession?

wow!.i would love to assist an oral surgeon. But please do tell me,are these a few basic guidelines?:...the correct passing of all the instruments,taking b.p./maybe bite wings only?..sorry it's has been 2 years since dental school! I'am registered,but have had no luck finding jobs within my driving range that desire new-ones!-(dallas texas). Not sure when you'll get this,but please feel free emailig me if can guide! lesliegiggles@gmail.com.

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kristenslager57 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

55 months ago

Ive been at my office for six months (new to assisting) but I only work part time. I am waiting to be full time and willing to wait as long as it happens eventually. I want to be with the same Dr. forever so Im great. However I never know if Im getting good or doing something wrong. Im already a little insecure so I feel left in the dark. My Dr. really doesnt communicate with me. I dont know if I should wait it out at this office or try to self improve on my own. Or look for a full time position else where

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cda in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

55 months ago

Stacie said: I was wondering if anyone knows how long it takes to get certified in expanded duties. I am looking to get certified--what would the closest school be to Conyers, GA? How much does it cost? Thanks!

Hi Stacie, You can get certified in expanded duties. I took the weekend class at Nova SouthEastern in Fl. I use to work in Conyers. If the instructor is Dr. Siewike you will do great! He and Harriett are excellant teachers!! good luck.

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shj rda in Dallas, Texas

54 months ago

Hi everyone! I have a few questions for anyone willing to help!
I just got out of dental assisting classes and am almost through with my extern. Problem is, I went to one of those 10 week classes for my studies. Only it wasn't 10 weeks, it was only 5 weeks of lecture and 5 weeks of extern. I was the best student in class so I got to have first pick of places where my class could extern. I chose a doctor who has been practicing for 50 years and has experience in all aspects of dental. At his office he offers everything. There is no referring pt's out because we have treatment op's, hygiene op's and ortho op's. So any & everything is right there in office. My thoughts at the time were that I could go to this very fast paced office and learn how to assist not only one or two doctors, but about 3 - 5 doctors, & to learn how to assist in everything from ortho to surgery. This just sounded IDEAL to me. But now I find myself only more and more confused and frusterated. The staff is short and we are always running behind on pt's, so everyone is always stressed. I end up helping more in sterilization and breaking down and preping rooms then actually getting to watch things. Don't get me wrong, I love to learn EVERYTHING and I'm ALL about teamwork, so I dont mind being the office "go-fer" lol, but I need to have time to watch & absorb what I'll be doing in the actual operatory. The only reason I'm stressing is because I will be done in 3 more days and they will either hire me or let me go. I'm hoping of course that they hire me, but what do y'all think their expectations of me will be? One day when I actually got to assist, the doc got mad because I didn't have HIS bur block in the op, thing is, he has never told me he used a different one than the other doctors nor has anyone else told me. He made a GIANT deal of it all and made a GINORMOUS sign above where he keeps his bur blocks. I just feel like I'm in a losing situation here. PLEASE HELP! ANY & ALL ADVICE IS APPRECIATED

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Melania in Tucson, Arizona

54 months ago

Shi rda - start talking to your Doctor about your concerns. In this type of situation the communication is a key. It should be clear to you what a Doctor/Staff expect from you and they have to be aware of your expectations. You mentioned that just 3 days left.... Out of 5 weeks? You said your Doc got mad at you- they (Dentists) ALL get mad; General Dentistry can be very stressful... Looks like they are not giving you an opportunity to assist. And that was the main reason you came to this office for extern- to learn to assist. You have to talk openly to them about your concerns.

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

54 months ago

Shi RDA- Don't worry so much.You will find out soon enough that no matter what yo do it will never be exactly what the doctor wants.
They get their adreline rush by making their assistants feel worthless.
There are good doctors in good practices out there, but they are few and hard to find.
I've been a dental assistant for more then twenty years and have had my share of bad and good offices.
You're just starting out so make sure you like the office your working at cause the hours are usually long and seem even longer when you work with a high and mighty dentist.
No matter your experience there is always a learning curve when you start with a new office.
I worked at one office for twelve years and when they relocated to the suburbs I had to look for a new job cause the commute was too long. I found out that though I was very experienced it didn't matter can the new doctor was so full o himself he complained about everything. One of the other girls said to not worry cause he was always like that, not to take it personal but I told her my job is assisting not kissing ass!!!!!!!
Just make wise choices so you can excel and enjoy you new career. Wish you the best.

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shj rda in Dallas, Texas

54 months ago

thanks so much for your advice! I know I am going to have to talk with them about it! 5 weeks FLIES by in a dental office! I am especially going to have to address it if they hire me!

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shj rda in Dallas, Texas

54 months ago

thanks so much for the advice!!! I am trying to be patient and whatnot, but I am just a person who cannot take much crap without speaking my mind. And it seems like the doctors just dont care. Like you said, I'm here to assist, to help YOU, not to kiss ass. I actually had a co-worker tell me to find a dentist that I could SLEEP WITH, because thats what she did and she got this and that from him because of it. I just hate that people have that perspective. I'm here to work, and I am enjoying assisting for the most part, I guess I'm just getting used to the things they dont mention in school! lol Thanks again!

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Teresa Wright in Oxford, Alabama

54 months ago

Does anyone who live in the about the office in Decatur Ga. It's called Spa Dental. I had an interview there and waiting for a response. Is this a nice office to work for or horrible. I need to know this if anyone know.

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Carla Brightstar in Mcallen, Texas

54 months ago

Hi guys my name is carla brightstar and i am currently training to be a dental assistant and im nervous but excited more than anything. The only problem is that my school doesn't have enough equipment that allows all of the students in my class to use and practice with. It really upsets me because i feel like im not getting the proper training i feel like if i go of to externship i wont know what is going on. Any suggestions

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cara835 in Edmond, Oklahoma

54 months ago

I have been Assisting part time since April at first I thought I would never get it. There was just too much dtail in everything. I have gotten better but it seems like I always forget something even if its just setting out a peice of floss. Does anyone else have this problem?

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In and Out in Chicago, Illinois

54 months ago

cara835 in Edmond, Oklahoma said: I have been Assisting part time since April at first I thought I would never get it. There was just too much dtail in everything. I have gotten better but it seems like I always forget something even if its just setting out a peice of floss. Does anyone else have this problem?

It's not that you don't get it. It's just that we are human and some times when we are real busy we may forget to set out the floss. I can't tell you how many times I set the floss out and it wasn't even used and the one time I forget it was NEEDED. It just happens.
Repetition, repetition is what will help you remember and it will become natural to you. Good luck.

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luvsurgery in Mexia, Texas

54 months ago

Carla Brightstar in Mcallen, Texas said: Hi guys my name is carla brightstar and i am currently training to be a dental assistant and im nervous but excited more than anything. The only problem is that my school doesn't have enough equipment that allows all of the students in my class to use and practice with. It really upsets me because i feel like im not getting the proper training i feel like if i go of to externship i wont know what is going on. Any suggestions

Don't feel like the lone ranger. My class doesn't even have enough instructors. No tables to write on during lecture. We use our laps. I am very depressed about the 2000 I wasted on this.

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Petey in Mcallen, Texas

54 months ago

Carla Brightstar in Mcallen, Texas said: Hi guys my name is carla brightstar and i am currently training to be a dental assistant and im nervous but excited more than anything. The only problem is that my school doesn't have enough equipment that allows all of the students in my class to use and practice with. It really upsets me because i feel like im not getting the proper training i feel like if i go of to externship i wont know what is going on. Any suggestions

If its SACMDA, they have never had enough of anything. Not even when i attended in '96!! But not to worry, if you get a nice enough office, they will train you.

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luvsurgery in Mexia, Texas

54 months ago

Petey in Mcallen, Texas said: If its SACMDA, they have never had enough of anything. Not even when i attended in '96!! But not to worry, if you get a nice enough office, they will train you.

I know you were not talking to me but I want to thank you for your comment. The school I am in is horribly inadequate. On top of that the instructor is so rude and outwardly mean to whoever she doesn't like that I dread going back. I have three and one half Sat. left and I am scared of haveing to ride those out because she seems to get meaner and nastier with each passing Sat. I have heard of being stressed out about passing a school but never of being afraid of the instrutor. It is so nice to hear from someone with encouraging words that we can learn when we get hired. thank you again.

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charlottegirl1979 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

54 months ago

Hi, thinking about moving to arlington tx area and wondering if you have to be registered in TX for dental assistant. I have certification for x-ray and 5 yrs exp. but not registered. Thanks

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DentalGuru2009 in Genoa City, Wisconsin

53 months ago

Here's a tip for what the Doc's like.....

Learn to be a dentist. Basically figure out how to do EVERYTHING they do (except injections, putting a high speed in someone's mouth, doing a rct) pretty much all the rest. They'll love you then.
Oh, and talk and tell jokes while you are doing all their work. Also helps if you are pretty, lol.

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Dental83 in Hialeah, Florida

51 months ago

Im having troiuble in my office with my boss. Im great with the specialits and assoc. Dr. but i feel like im losinng my confidence. Ive been an asst for 6 years and i know im good at what i do. my office is so unorganized and im not confident in the work that the gen dds does. I wouldnt refer my friends there. Ive worked in a much better office as far as the quality of dentistry is. perio is my favorite and im looking into gettin my expanded duties. i do everything that a RDA does but without the certification to help with my pay and i think the course would def make me an even better asst. How long is the course and is it expensive? ive just started looking into Nova but havent gotten the info im looking for. Can anyone help?

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DentalGuru2009 in Genoa City, Wisconsin

51 months ago

Dental assisting school isn't going to improve your confidence. If the dr. isn't letting you be yourself- then no matter how much you kow ...it's no good. After 6 yrs assisting what could you possibly not know?

What kind of things specifically do u need help with??

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Trish in Rockford, Illinois

51 months ago

Always think one step ahead of the dentist. It was the best advice I was told years ago from a dentist. Love my job and very confident at it! It doesn't just come that way at first, but after years of figuring the right things to say and do it all comes together. You have to be positive in the office. I'm lucky enough to work for a great dentist!

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jasondentalassistant in Santa Maria, California

50 months ago

Hi my name is Jason Damaso from Santa Maria,Ca. I was named employee of the month in January 2010. My advise is Work hard at all times. My areas of expertise are: Problem Solving, Building Teamwork, Communications, and Development of People. With experience I have gained strength and skills including organizational development, understanding self and others, commitment, and resiliency. Highly proficient in identifying actual and potential problem areas and implementing solutions to ensure quality, adherence to schedule, and cost effectiveness.
Always try to learn more and more, and even more so teach your skills to your fellow assistants so that your team is strong. Most emportantly is U.P.E. that stands for the Ultimate Patient Experience. Take care of the people who come into your office just like they were you're family and/or yourself. God Bless.

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jasondentalassistant in Santa Maria, California

50 months ago

stephanie CDA in Atlanta, Georgia said: I have assisted for 15 yrs. I am an exceptional assistant because i try to anticipate my drs. every move. Try to learn as many routine procedures as possible. Learn the Drs. flow, have burs ready, next appt set up, and no wasting of mateial. They love this. Ask questions as to why the dr. likes to use certain materials at certain times. this way when you see such things as a pulp expoure, you'll know what to have out. Also learn to make temps this saves th dr. lots of time, therefore able to have more production

youre on the money with your comment, I appreciate that wisdom, jason.

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Audrey in Beaumont, Texas in Satellite Provider

47 months ago

LOL You are such a liar Shanika. If you showed up to work on time and left the ghetto drama at home you would do better in an office. And wearing bleach stained clothes don't help or the drag look.

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rosy in Yuma, Arizona

45 months ago

I'm italian and I live in Yuma Arizona I have almost 10 years of experience like dental assitent in Italy in high level now I need some paper for work in Usa I would like to know if anibody know what accreditacion the doctor ask for work? Here in yuma is not any career just I found www.uscareerinstitute.edu/ by distant somebody can check if the accreditacion is something whit value?
Thank you so much in advance

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Nora in Syracuse, New York

45 months ago

kristenslager57 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma said: Ive been at my office for six months (new to assisting) but I only work part time. I am waiting to be full time and willing to wait as long as it happens eventually. I want to be with the same Dr. forever so Im great. However I never know if Im getting good or doing something wrong. Im already a little insecure so I feel left in the dark. My Dr. really doesnt communicate with me. I dont know if I should wait it out at this office or try to self improve on my own. Or look for a full time position else where

I'm kind of shy myself, so communication was hard for me- I was never sure whether or not to ask the Dr a question, for fear of pissing him off. What I found that seems to work on my stoic Dr, is be diabetes-inducingly sweet, and cheerful- even if I made a mistake, like forgetting an instrument and had to leave the op to get it, and the Dr said something like, "C'mon, you have to be prepared! *sigh*"... I'd just respond, cheerfully, "I apologize, Doc, my mistake- I'll go get that for you right now!" - and then run off and grab it quickly. Nobody can (should) be mad at you when you're positive and have a great attitude.

You'll develop your da skills with time, and Drs are a lot more willing to forgive your mistakes if you have that pleasant personality, and want to improve in order to better help his (or her) pts. And even if you don't really FEEL awesome and secure, just fake it till you make it! I "act" my way into a genuinely positive and confident attitude most days, haha...and my relationship with my Dr has improved! He'll now even crack jokes with me, or compliment my performance.

Ask questions, in a clear, audible voice. Just keep at it until he starts to respond back. If not, well...at least you gained some on-the-job experience you can take with you elsewhere, if you decide to leave. Hope this helps somewhat...

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DA in Syracuse, New York

45 months ago

shj rda in Dallas, Texas said: thanks so much for the advice!!! I am trying to be patient and whatnot, but I am just a person who cannot take much crap without speaking my mind. And it seems like the doctors just dont care. Like you said, I'm here to assist, to help YOU, not to kiss ass. I actually had a co-worker tell me to find a dentist that I could SLEEP WITH, because thats what she did and she got this and that from him because of it. I just hate that people have that perspective. I'm here to work, and I am enjoying assisting for the most part, I guess I'm just getting used to the things they dont mention in school! lol Thanks again!

Wow- sleeping your way to the top? That girl obviously is a crappy DA. Anyway, about your short-tempered Dr...try asking him TONS of questions about what HE likes, and what HE uses and why...everybody likes to talk about themselves, lol! Hopefully, he'll tell you all about the specifics of his bur block, what things he wants on his tray, what things he wants handed to him, how he likes it if you uncap the irrigation syringe and bend it at a 45 degree angle before handing it to him (personal example)...

It can be extremely frustrating if your dentist is a diva demanding a bowl of only green m&ms in their all white dressing room with orchids on the table, but I make it into a game- Miss Cleo, Dental Assistant. Try to read their mind, know what they'll want before they do. How mad can they be if you're completely prepared for what they'll need next? Kill 'em with kindness!

Hope this helps a little..good luck!

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2yearsda in Syracuse, New York

45 months ago

isaac in Joes, Colorado said: Hi
I was hoping other dental assistants would share with me. What do you do that sets you apart from other assistants? or saves time? keeps your Dr. in a good mood :-) I have been an assistant for only four months and just now feel like I am o.k. at what I do. THANKS FOR SHARING!

I try to have a really good memory, especially since I work with 5 different Drs! Dr. A uses xrays to determine canal length during RCT, while Dr. K uses an apex locator. Dr. P will use amalgam, Dr. K only uses composite. Get to know your Drs preferences- this will save you time in the long run, because you'll remember to set up the apex locator in the op for Dr. K, and not have to leave and go get it when he'll inevitably need it.

We have these small tupperware bins that we throw used instruments in after the pt is finished- easy to bring everything to sterilization. I like to clean up as I go- putting the hand files away once Doc has moved on to the rotary machine, using the opportunity of leaving to develop xrays to restock something, glance at the next chart and get instruments ready for the next procedure...stuff like that, lol!

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2yearsda in Syracuse, New York

45 months ago

In and Out in Chicago, Illinois said: It's not that you don't get it. It's just that we are human and some times when we are real busy we may forget to set out the floss. I can't tell you how many times I set the floss out and it wasn't even used and the one time I forget it was NEEDED. It just happens.
Repetition, repetition is what will help you remember and it will become natural to you. Good luck.

The first place I trained, my DA trainer had made a little wire-bound book of memo cards that would fit in her scrubs pocket, containing the needed contents for each procedure, ex.

Amalgam restoration: amalgam capsules, amal. carrier, ball burnisher, condenser, acorn, carver, articulating paper, matrix band, tofflemire, floss, amal. well, syringe, lido, topical, gauze, cotton rolls, mirror/explorer/cotton pliers, burs, handpiece(s), 3way syringe tip....etc. Same for everything else: composite, crown prep, rct... it really helped, all I had to do was just go down the checklist. Give it a try! And carry lots of pens on you for note-taking. If Doc says he wants a #6 round bur for starting a rct every time, write it down. Its those little details you remember that'll make your doc love you.

Hope this helps!

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2yearsda in Syracuse, New York

45 months ago

luvsurgery in Mexia, Texas said: Don't feel like the lone ranger. My class doesn't even have enough instructors. No tables to write on during lecture. We use our laps. I am very depressed about the 2000 I wasted on this.

You're lucky- my class was $3000. I was the best student, A+ on everything, eager to learn...and I'd get frustrated, because my instructors and fellow students would talk about hair salons or their kids or bands they'd seen when we were supposed to be learning. Once I even left the gabbing classroom to go study instruments and practice mixing alginate by myself... which was what we were all supposed to be doing at the time.

Don't sweat it. Most of what you'll need to know you'll learn just from working, anyway. A lot of it is knowing your particular Drs preferences, which may be completely different from what you learned in school. As long as you've learned the basics, the rest you'll learn with time.

Good luck!

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Dental Assistant in Westlake, Louisiana

45 months ago

Always smile and stay positive. It is really important to know what the Dr. need even before he asks for it. This takes practice and experience. General dentistry is the most difficult because you have many procedures to set up, assist, and sterilization of instrument for every different procedure. It takes lots of practice and confident in yourself. Getting along with the Dr. is just being yourself and asking questions to learn as much as you can. Dental assisting is not for everyone you have to love what you do and want to be there. If you stay positive it is most of the time contagious which make it a better working environment.

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Kathy in Orlando, Florida

45 months ago

That's what I did, everything you are saying...strange, that it didn't work, and not only with me. "Smiling dentist"...ha...I wish I would get in that FAIRYTALE. If girls would know all the TRUTH about assisting, 90% of them would never choice this profession...unless u are planning to become a dentist in the future.

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Trish in Sumter, South Carolina

45 months ago

Hi Ladies! I just have a few questions for all of you. I recently applied to the Red Cross Dental Program on my base and was called today for an interview next week. Im super nervouse. Im not sure what to expect from the interview, like what kinds of questions they might ask what I should wear, what I should say.. just what to do in general. Can anyone give me any tips or pointers on what i might expect from this kind of interview? They are only accepting 6 applicants and I want to stick out in their minds so that I might get accepted, this is really important to me.. Thanks!

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